Ghalya Saadawi


Ghalya Saadawi lectures in modern and contemporary art theory, and art in Lebanon after 1990 in the department of Fine Arts and Art History, American University of Beirut and at The Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts, Balamand University. Between 2015-2017, she was Resident Professor of the Home Workspace Program (Ashkal Alwan, Beirut). Saadawi earned a PhD from Goldsmiths University of London in Sociology in 2015. Her dissertation underscored the art practices and theoretical considerations that informed a rethinking of witnessing, representation and ideology after the declared end of the Lebanese civil wars. Her essays and reviews have appeared in a number of publications, anthologies and artist’ monographs. She is co-editor with Mirene Arsanios and Iman Mersal of Makhzin, and is affiliated with BICAR, the Beirut Institute for Critical Analysis and Research. Saadawi is currently developing The Art Protocol with Bahar Noorizadeh, a research project, platform and forthcoming framework that considers regulation and law in contemporary art.

Oraib Toukan


Oraib Toukan is an artist and Clarendon Scholar at the Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford. Until Fall 2015, she was head of the Arts Division and Media Studies program at Bard College at Al Quds University, Palestine and was visiting faculty at the International Academy of Fine Arts in Ramallah. Recent exhibitions include the Akademie der Künste, Berlin, Heidelberger Kunstverein, Qalandia International, The Centre for Contemporary Art Glasgow, the Asia Pacific Triennial, the Mori Art Museum, and the 11th Istanbul Biennale. She is author of Sundry Modernism: Materials for a Study of Palestinian Modernism, Sternberg Press (2017). And is director of the film When Things Occur (2016) which was based on Skype conversations with image-makers based in Gaza who were behind specific images transmitted from screen to screen in the summer of 2014. Toukan’s current research addresses “cruel images” and the question of how to treat them as both object and subject through artistic practice. Since 2011 she has been analyzing, and remaking works from a found collection of film reels that belong to former soviet cultural centers in Jordan, and which went defunct in 1990-1991.


Birgit Mara Kaiser & Kathrin Thiele

Birgit Mara Kaiser

Birgit Mara Kaiser is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and Transcultural Aesthetics at Utrecht University. Her research spans literature in English, French and German from the 19th to 21st century, with particular focus on poetic knowledge production; the relation of literature, aesthetics and affect; and writing subjectivity in transcultural and post/colonial constellations of power, for which questions of un/translatability, multilingual writing and the materiality of language are especially important.

Kathrin Thiele

Kathrin Thiele is Associate Professor Gender Studies and Critical Theory at Utrecht University. Trained transdisciplinarily in Gender Studies, Sociology, Literary Studies and Critical Theory, her research focuses on questions of ethics and politics from queer feminist, decolonial and posthuman(ist) perspectives. Her published work intervenes in contemporary feminist debates around (sexual) differences, de/coloniality and new materialism/posthumanisms, with specific attention to questions of relationality, implicatedness and entanglements.

Together they coordinate Terra Critica: Interdisciplinary Network for the Critical Humanities.

Florencia Malbran

Florencia Malbran is a faculty member at New York University in Buenos Aires. In 2017, she was Craig M. Cogut Visiting Professor in Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Brown University. She holds a Ph.D. from Rosario National University, Argentina, and a M.A. from the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, New York, where she was a Bruce T. Halle Family Foundation Fellow. Specializing in Latin American art history, contemporary art, curatorial studies, and critical theory, Malbrán has served on the faculties of NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study in New York City and Universidad de San Andrés in Buenos Aires.
Also a curator, she has organized exhibitions in Argentina, the United States, Canada, Brazil, Colombia, and Paraguay. She has been in residence in France, Switzerland, and Spain, and was the Hilla Rebay International Fellow at the Guggenheim Museums in New York, Bilbao, and Venice. She has held curatorial positions at the Museum of Modern Art in Buenos Aires and the Pinacoteca do Estado in São Paulo.
Her shows have been reviewed in Clarín and La Nación in Argentina, O Globo in Brazil, El Tiempo in Colombia, and Artforum in the United States. Selected catalog writing includes essays on Guillermo Kuitca and on Pablo Siquier for Argentina’s La Nación book series on seminal national artists, on Ernesto Neto for the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, and on Ragnar Kjartansson for the Icelandic Pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale.
In addition to her expertise in contemporary art, she works in the fields of post- colonial and globalization studies, cultural geography and translation, focusing on the disciplinary problems of writing and practicing art across cultural boundaries, and proposing novel intertwining histories of the verbal and the visual.

Project: Global Art Now: How is Art Latin American?

Abstract: This research project will study recent literature and visual art through a strategic focus on the Latin American cities of Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and Mexico City. Artistic inquiry and evolving issues in contemporary art will be examined. The very limits of literary forms will also be explored, considering the blurring of genres and inviting questions on the intersections of images and words, or art and literature. Emphasis will be placed upon the city as a hub for culture but also, crucially, as an arena for the meeting of differences. Developing comparative perspectives on Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and Mexico City will illuminate the particularities of the places under investigation, albeit with reference to artistic transformations as well as current theoretical debates around globalization, postcolonial studies, and emancipation. This proposal is a response to an increasing demand in Art History to pay attention to alternative aesthetic practices, beyond the canon of American and European art, and to the transnational dimension of image production. Special consideration will be devoted to recent experimentation, looking into the ideas that animate art practices today. Can local works be charted in a global context? How can the arts help us think across traditional academic disciplines? How do art and literature exploit the characteristics of the metropolis? Attention will be given to seminal novels, poetry, stories, performances, paintings, photography and installations from Latin America. Authors working in Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and Mexico City will include Francis Alÿs, Mario Bellatin, Guillermo Kuitca, Jorge Macchi, Marta Minujín, Ernesto Neto, Sergio Raimondi and Adriana Varejão.

Pınar Ögrenci

Pınar Ögrenci (b. 1973, Van, Turkey) is an artist and writer based in İstanbul. Ögrenci uses various media in her artistic practice, including photography, video, performance and installation. Her works address subjects such as migration, war, collective movements, nationalism, cultural assimilation,  stories of heroism and urban transformation. Using the video as a tool to record her daily life practices, she benefits from her personal video archive and ready-made footages.

Her works have been exhibited widely at museums and art institutions including at Kunst Haus Wien- Hundertwasser Museum, 2017; WKV Stuttgart, 2017; the Istanbul off-site project for Sharjah Biennial13, 2017; Angewandte, Vienna, 2016; MAXXI Museum, Rome, 2015-6; SALT Galata, Istanbul, 2015-6;  De Las Fronteras Biennial, Tamaulipas, 2015; Sinop Biennial, 2014; Çanakkale Biennial, 2014 and Depo, Istanbul, 2014. Her first solo exhibition abroad was realized at Kunst Haus-Hundertwasser Museum in Vienna, “A Gentle Breeze Passed Over Us” in 2017.She is the founder and organizer of MARSistanbul, an art initiative launched in 2010. Since the late 1990s, Ögrenci has extensively written on contemporary art and architecture in magazines, including Agos, Radikal, ArtUnlimited, m-est, SALT Online, Arkitera, Arredemento Mimarlık, XXI, İstanbul, among others. She has participated in residency programs in HIAP, Helsinki, Finland, 2017; Henie Onstad Kunstcenter, Oslo, Norway, 2016; R.A.T., Mexico City, 2015; Willa Waldberta, Munich, 2010, as well as in festival, workshop and research programs, such as Public Calling Conference at National Theatre Oslo, 2016; Middle East Festival, Henie Onstad Kunstcenter, Oslo, 2016; “Plataforma Editable, Desplazamientos Curatoriales: Santiago, Valparaiso, Antofagasta, Tarabaca” in Chile, 2015; “Public Space and Museums” at the CIMAM conference in Rio de Janerio, 2013

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