Disappearing Cities of the Arab World

Disappearing Cities of the Arab World

Disappearing Cities of the Arab World

Shubbak Festival 2015

Modern Culture is delighted to be working with The Mosaic Rooms and Shubbak Festival on the Disappearing Cities of the Arab World, an ambitious cultural programme of exhibitions, talks and screenings, focused on the destruction of Arab urban life in the post-colonial age.

The city is the space where civic life becomes possible; it is also a centre of resistance to the invader and of rebellion against injustice. The city transforms our perceptions of childhood; our experiences of light and sound, of space and perspective, and of the past, present and future.

But cities are also great betrayers of their own inhabitants, repositories of vermin and dirt and pollution, as well as theatres of chaos, civil war and massacre. In the contemporary Arab world, cities have often been profoundly deceitful—promising lawfulness, peace, equality and freedom only to turn into prisons and traps for the unsuspecting citizen.

Jaffa, Beirut, Lydd, Baghdad, Cairo, Aleppo, Homs, Tripoli (Libya and Lebanon), Kuwait City, Jerusalem, Mogadishu—these cities have, to varying degrees of course, undergone terrible destruction and violence in the post-colonial age, bearing witness to what can only be described as a failure of the civic project. Other cities are tragically promised similar fates…

Events as part of Shubbak Festival will examine how the inhabitants of modern-day Arab cities have continued to resist the breakdown or destruction of their environments through civic projects or artistic expression—or simply through an improbable love affair.


With The Mosaic Rooms

Sunday 12th July 2015

The British Museum

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