Making an exhibition with my students at the Paris School of International Affairs

This year (2014) I asked my students to write their papers as catalogue contributions to an exhibition I made in Paris to coincide with the end of the term.

Here one can find the links to their papers and images of the exhibition, which I made with the help of the Window, an art space in the center of Paris run by a good friend of mine and those that contributed to the crowd funding project I ran – especially my father!

Most of my students: from left to right Alexandre Nawath, Sarah Smail, Anna-Katharina Kraft, Emma Ghariani (hidden), Lily Matras, Kristina Keenan, Kata Pali, Leo Teste, Joice Barbaresco (partially hidden), Mariam Kandil, Lucile Gasber and Malika Touddimte

Most of my students: from left to right Alexandre Hawath, Sarah Smail, Anna-Katharina Kraft, Emma Ghariani (hidden), Lily Matras, Kristina Keenan, Kata Pali, Leo Teste, Joice Barbaresco (partially hidden), Mariam Kandil, Lucile Gasber and Malika Touddimte

This was my fifth year lecturing at the Paris School of International Affairs (the international Master programme of Sciences Po) and the third year teaching the course ‘Contemporary Art and Geopolitics in the Arab World’. I have been experimenting with ways of making the course more relevant to students and the society at large. Two years ago I decided to put the best papers of my students online, to share them. Last year I went a step further and asked my students to write a Wikipedia article as their end-of-term paper, to share their knowledge with the world at large.

Crowd at the opening with The Window in the background. My father stands to the front right

Crowd at the opening with The Window in the background. My father stands to the front right

View of the exhibition installation. I put up the screen with the wallpaper to add more space.

View of the exhibition installation. I put up the screen with the wallpaper to add more space.

Majida Khattari: image of 'Voile Islamique Parisien', one of the 'defile-performances' she has become famous for.

Majida Khattari: image of ‘Voile Islamique Parisien’, one of the ‘defile-performances’ she has become famous for.

I found the analysis by Leo Teste of the work of the Parisian-Moroccan artist Majida Khattari to be, possibly, the best of all the students’ papers. So if you plan to read just one paper, read this one; but the following are also very interesting. They are organized more or less in the order of the grade I gave the student for the paper.

Installation of works in the series 'Saddam is Here' by Jamal Penjweny, analyzed and described by Alexandre Nawath

Installation of works in the series ‘Saddam is Here’ by Jamal Penjweny, analyzed and described by Alexandre Hawath. Click on the image to read the wall text, written, as all other wall texts in the exhibition, by the student him/herself.

Here is the link to Alexandre Hawath’s excellent analysis of Jamal Penjweny’s ‘Saddam is Here’ series.

Sarah Smail standing in front of Abdelkarim Qassem's work 'Evacuation'

Sarah Smail standing in front of Abdelkarim Qassem’s work ‘Evacuation’

Sarah Smail’s very interesting exploration of the relatively unknown work ‘Evacuation’ by the Saudi artist Abdelkarim Qassem.

Mariam Kandil standing in front of the text and installation she made to present the Lebanese Rocket Society, a project by Khalil Joreige and Joana Hadjithomas

Mariam Kandil standing in front of the text and installation she made to present the Lebanese Rocket Society, a project by Khalil Joreige and Joana Hadjithomas

Here’s the link to Mariam Kandil’s insightful and inspiring paper on the Lebanese Rocket Society, a project by Khalil Joreige and Joana Hadjithomas.

Installation of Aman Mojadidi's work by Kristina Keenan

Installation of Aman Mojadidi’s work by Kristina Keenan

Link to Kristina Keenan’s paper on Aman Mojadidi’s elections-related Jihadi Gangster work

Faycal Baghriche's spinning globe 'Souvenir' with Emeric Lhuisset's "Souvenirs de Syrie" booklet installed in the background.

Faycal Baghriche’s spinning globe ‘Souvenir’ with Emeric Lhuisset’s “Souvenirs de Syrie” booklet installed in the background.

Link to Lily Matras’ sensitively written analysis of Faycal Baghriche’s art.

Lucid analysis of Emeric Lhuisset’s artistic work among rebel fighters in Syria by Anna-Katharina Kraft

Installation about Adel Abidin's artistic project 'Symphony' and 'Warqaa' on the massacre of Emo's in Baghdad, 2012

Installation about Adel Abidin’s artistic project ‘Symphony’ and ‘Warqaa’ on the massacre of Emo’s in Baghdad, 2012

Perceptive analysis of Adel Abidin’s work on the Baghdad Emo massacre of 2012 by Lucile Gasber

Presentation of 'Ishtar' by Eric Parnes, by the student Kata Pali

Presentation of ‘Ishtar’ by Eric Parnes, by the student Kata Pali

Candid and intuitive reading of Eric Parnes’ ‘Ishtar’ by Kata Pali.

Mehreen Murtaza installation "The Dubious Birth of Geography" on a panel I designed

Mehreen Murtaza installation “The Dubious Birth of Geography” on a panel I designed

Paper by the Brazilian exchange student Joice Barbaresco on The Dubious Birth of Geography series by Mehreen Murtaza. As one can see, I didn’t include only ‘Arab’ artists in this exhibition, despite the title of my course, because the student’s concentration is the Middle East in general, and the themes of my course are cross-cutting in the region.

Here’s the link to the pdf presentation, which although visual is unfortunately to large for the WordPress format of this blog to show correctly, that the students Emma Ghariani and Malika Touddimte made together of the sensual Islamic work of the Kuwaiti artist Tareq de Montfort.

And to finish, here are some pictures of my students and the public presentation on 18 April, in which the students presented their work to the visitors.

Lucile, Alexandre, Mariam and Malika

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Thanks also to Paul Geevers, standing in the middle of this photograph, for his help in setting up and guarding the exhibition.

 

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