In a post-socialist and post-colonial world and amidst the ruinous aftermath of popular revolts in the region, Arab artists tentatively explore earlier episodes of a long struggle for social justice. What was it like to be a leftist militant in the 1970s? What echos of the once confident anticipation of a communist horizon can we make out in the Arab world today? How to recover these memories without collapsing in mere nostalgic yearning for an anticipated future now forever lost?
In this lecture, Judith Naeff analyses how the Lebanese Rania and Raed Rafei and the French-Moroccan Bouchra Khalili engage with these questions in their video art, shedding light upon their dynamic relations between past, present and future.
About the Author: Judith Naeff is assistant professor in Cultures of the Middle East at Leiden University. With a background in Arabic Studies and Literary Studies, she completed her PhD at the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis in 2016. In December 2017 she published her book titled: Precarious Imaginaries of Beirut.