Statement by Ashkal Alwan on the indefinite postponement of Home Works 8

We do not regret to inform you that Ashkal Alwan is indefinitely postponing all programmes and events scheduled to take place from October 17-27, 2019 as part of the 8th edition of Home Works: A Forum on Cultural Practices.

The launch of this edition of Home Works has once again been overwhelmed by the very forces that had initially led to its inception in 2001. Lebanon is witnessing spontaneous popular uprisings, bent on targeting our current regime and its security apparatuses, as well as toppling sectarian discourses and their hold on public life.

Artistic and cultural institutions and initiatives are in no way isolated from broader civic, political, economic, and ideological contexts, but rather shaped as a result of and in response to historical events and their repercussions. This edition of Home Works initially called on participants to partake in acts of collective world-building, suggesting pathways to re-imagine social relations as they currently stand. Then, it seemed pertinent to echo the region’s manyfold attempts at dismantling inherited structures of the past and designing alternative blueprints for the future, from Sudan to Syria, and from Algeria to Iraq. Today, it is our turn.

In the past week, we have actively participated in mass protests and general strikes, closely monitored the situation as it was unfolding, and consulted with friends and colleagues from the legal, academic, journalistic, and artistic-cultural sectors to decide on the best way forward. Our conclusion: there shouldn’t be any reason to regret or apologize for the indefinite postponement of our programmes and events. Our artistic, intellectual, and organizational energy will be redirected towards the achievement of our hopes and aspirations, the possibility of which is being granted to us by a momentum that should be seized at any cost.

See you on the streets.

Ashkal Alwan

Ashkal Alwan newsletter

About Ashkal Alwan

Ashkal Alwan, The Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts is a non-profit organization based in Beirut, Lebanon. Since 1993, the association has been committed to contemporary artistic practice, production, research and education.

Embedded in Lebanon and the wider region, Ashkal Alwan aims to facilitate artistic production and discourse, foster critical thinking around contemporary social realities, and engage in community mobilization.

Our mission is to create networks of exchange between artistic and cultural practitioners and institutions, build an archival record of artistic and intellectual endeavors in Lebanon and the region, support emerging and established artists by providing the necessary resources for the development of ideas and work, rethink art education, help enrich critical discourse in the Arabic language, as well as provide support for independent initiatives working in and around the civic and political realms.

Ashkal Alwan’s programs include Home Works, a multidisciplinary forum on cultural practices taking place every three years; Home Workspace Program, a tuition-free annual study program for emerging artists; Video Works, an annual video production grant, and a mentoring and screening platform; a Residency Program for artists and cultural practitioners; the publication of literary works and artist books. Our educational and production platforms are accessible to the public. Our facilities include auditoria, editing studios, performance spaces, a library featuring a unique collection on contemporary artistic, cultural, and textual practices in Lebanon and beyond, and an extensive audio-visual archive.