Engaging Archives Otherwise

The stories we tell matter. It matters not only what they say about others and ourselves but
also how we craft them. This seminar series engages scholars and artists of the Middle East working across disciplines and national boundaries for a set of crossed conversations on critical and creative archival practices. The current political moment and the ravages of Empire across the region demand that we unlearn and rethink forms of knowing to foreground histories and struggles on the margins. We envisage this series as a way to collectively explore methods and approaches at the intersection of social science and art-based research that can nourish and transform historical and ethnographic storytelling. In doing so we consider what constitutes an archive and what are the challenges of producing, collecting and interpreting primary sources – from state collections, canonical texts and journals to family histories, folk songs, audiovisual material, urban sites and seeds.


NOVEMBER 3 · 2021 · 5:30PM *

Failed But Not Forgotten: Oil Media in Iraq Before 1958
Mona Damluji, University of California

Archival Regimes of Extraction: Contested Petromodernity in Iran and its Visual Undercurrents
Sanaz Sohrabi, Concordia Uninversity

NOVEMBER 30 · 2021 · 12PM

Monument Stories: Cities of the Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula through Monument Biographies
Anahi Alviso-Marino, Université Gustave Eiffel

A Decolonial Rage Against Monuments
Joachim Ben Yakoub, Luca School of Arts

DECEMBER 15 · 2021 · 12PM

Printscapes of Solidarity: Palestine, Art and Revolution in Beirut’s long ‘60s
Zeina Maasri, University of Brighton

Pedagogies and Archives of Solidarity: the case of Tokyo Posters
Subversive Film

FEBRUARY 16 · 2022 · 12PM

Reading with Children of the Nakba
Mezna Qato, University of Cambridge

The Impossibilities of Representation: Frictional Conversations in Burj al-Shamali Camp
Yasmine Eid-Sabbagh, Arab Image Foundation

MARCH 16 · 2022 · 12PM

Could the Archives Lie? The Disappeared Train
Salim Tamari, Birzeit University

Historicizing Egypt’s Aswan High Dam as a story within a story within a story
Alia Mossallam, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

APRIL 27 · 2022 · 12PM

Seed Conservation; Creating New Worlds
Vivien Sansour, Harvard University

Cousous: Seeds of Dignity
Habib Ayeb, Observatoire de la Souveraineté Alimentaire et de l’Environment


* All seminars are in Belgium time zone (GMT+2). Except the first event in November 3, which will be solely online, this public seminar series will be both virtual and in-person at Free University of Brussels at the Meeting Room/Salle de Réception (3rd floor) of the Maison des Sciences Humaines.