The new dynamic of the Middle East
Art scene

Tuesday 25th may 2021 at 6:00 PM - French time
Talk in English language
In Partnership with The Art Circle

The focus is on the United Arab Emirates’ art scene and ecosystem with the participation of four major institutions. They will explain their role in this new dynamic and how they work with a new generation of artists either from or coming to the Middle East.

“Art is a line around your thoughts”, The Art Circle recognizes itself in this quote by Gustav Klimt. Founded and directed by Barbara Farahnick-Mathonet in 2018, The Art Circle is a network of international art collectors and women art enthusiasts based in the UAE. It is a non-profit organization that aims to promote the arts , artists and institutions of or related to the MENASA regions. Through a variety of activities, The Art Circle seeks to promote art appreciation, foster artistic growth and encourage conversation.


Vincent Larnicol, Art Collector


Manal Ataya, Director General, Sharjah Museums Authority

Vilma Jurkute, Executive Director of Alserkal Avenue

Dyala Nusseibeh, Director of Abu Dhabi Art,

Maya Allison, Chief Curator at NYU Abu Dhabi; Curator of the UAE Pavilion to the Venice Biennale for 2022.

Support for the artistic and cultural scene in Beirut after August 4th, 2020

Thursday 27th may 2021 at 4:00 PM – French time
Talk in French language

Swiftly after the double blast of August 4th, 2020, a coordination and international aid mission was organized for the Lebanese cultural and artistic scene. This initiative, focused on the artistic scene, but also encompassing a heritage dimension is led by the French Ministry of Culture.


Myriam Nasr Shuman, director of Beirut’s Agenda Culturel, a cultural magazine in French.


Robert Lacombe, Cultural Advisor to Ambassador Pierre Duquesne, Special Envoy for the coordination of international support to Lebanon. He will be presenting his different initiatives put in place, and the perspectives of cultural collaborations in different fields/disciplines.

From Modernity to Contemporary Art in the Maghreb

Friday 28th May 2021 at 11:00 AM – French Time

Talk in French language

On the occasion of the Farid Belkahia exhibition “For another modernity”, which is held at the Centre Pompidou in Paris from 19 May to 31 July 2021, Michel Gauthier, its curator, will take us on a virtual tour as a preamble to our discussion.

This conversation will be an opportunity to discuss the emergence of postcolonial modernity in the Maghreb through one of its most emblematic creators and question its inclusion in the grand narrative of modernity, which is what many museums and art historians are working on today.


Meryem Sebti, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the art magazine DIPTYK, Casablanca


Michel Gauthier, Curator at the National Museum of Modern Art-Centre Pompidou, Paris

Brahim Alaoui, art historian, former director of the museum of the Arab World Institute, Paris.

Circuits of aids to artists

Friday 28th May at 3:00 PM - French Time

Talk in French language

This exchange will address two crucial issues faced by visual artists: their mobility and visibility. Which platforms have been set up to help visual artists to find residencies, studios and exhibit? How such platform can activate their different networks so that artists can exchange, exist and connect both within Lebanon and abroad.

This conversation will also evoke the practical aspects which map the access to an artistic ecosystem, both locally and internationally, such as awards, getting a visa, and access to housing. While artists need to travel, they also need to receive support to exist in their own country.

Through this conversation, we will discover the different actors who work to offer this support to artists.


Maria Chatti-Gautier, a finance professional who has devoted a lot of time and energy to humanitarian and social missions in Lebanon and Syria.


Sandra Hegedüs, founder of SAM Art Projects

Joana Hadjithomas, visual artist,

Tarik Atoui, Lebanese artist and musician,

Joana Hadjithomas and Tarik Atoui are the founders of “Correspondaences”, a platform of support for Lebanese artists.

Marie Buscail, Counsellor for Cooperation and Cultural Action,           Director of the French Institute of Lebanon.

Judith Depaule, Co-founder of the association ‘L’atelier des artistes    en exil’.

Conversation with Simone Fattal

Saturday 29th may 2021 at 3:00 PM – French time
Talk in French language

This conversation will focus on Simone Fattal’s work, which evokes our contemporary world by reviving a mythological past. She is inspired by the epic of Gilgamesh, the first literary work of humankind, as by the significant figures of antiquity and Sufi poetry. With her paintings and sculptures in archetypal forms, she closely associates the most pressing current events, the historical fact, and personal history. “One discovers with astonishment, in her works, the extent of the presence of the past in the regions that cover the Arab East today”, says Etel Adnan.


Mouna Mekouar, art critic and curator.


Simone Fattal, Lebanese-American artist, lives in Paris.

AlUla's cultural ambitions

Sunday 30th may 2021 at 4:00 PM – French time
Talk in English & Arabic languages

AlUla is exceptionally fortunate to be one of the most important heritage and natural sites in Arabia. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has entrusted the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) with the task of developing this place into a cultural destination of global significance.

Following a bilateral agreement signed in 2018, the French Agency for AlUla development (AFALULA) was founded in Paris to support Saudi Arabia in the economic, touristic and cultural development of AlUla.

The RCU has launched with its French partner an archaeological research program and a set of museums unique in their level of importance and ambition, along with major initiatives in the field of contemporary creation. Added to a cultural district rich in a wide variety of projects linked to creation and training, there will also be a museum complex dedicated to modern and contemporary art, as well as a monumental site for commissioned art in the landscape. The whole of the AlUla oasis will thus become a vibrant place where creation will enter into a unique dialogue with nature and history.


Judith Benhamou – Huet, Art journalist for Les Echos and Judith Benhamou Reports


Nora Aldabal, Arts & Culture Programming Director, Royal Commission for AlUla

Zahrah Al-Ghamdi, Artist

Jean-François Charnier, Scientific Director, French Agency for AlUla Development.

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