US TOUR 2014-19

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UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

In 2014, against the backdrop of increased anti-Arab and anti-Muslim sentiment in the United States, Edge of Arabia embarked on a multi-year tour across North America with the aim to connect Arab and US artists and inspire better understanding between the two regions. We called the project CULTURUNNERS.

Programming at major institutions like the Rothko Chapel, Armory Show, MIT, LACMA, Brooklyn Museum, MoMA and the Smithsonian has run alongside a thirty thousand-mile RV journey inviting artists to explore and document America away from the major cities. Khaled Jarrar has traveled to the US/Mexican border; Yazan Khalili went in search of US towns called “Palestine” from Ohio to Texas; Moroccan artist, Sara Ouhaddou, explored the rise of nationalism in the Southern States; Ahmed Mater embarked on a pilgrimage to Standing Rock; and Sudanese political cartoonist Khalid Al Baih followed the story of civil rights in America from Washington DC to Memphis.

To date, our US Tour has supported over two hundred artists and engaged over eight hundred thousand visitors. An artist-led media campaign has provided an alternative perspective for millions of Americans through platforms as varied as The LA Times, Guardian, CNN, The Arab American News, Vice and even Fox News.

From 2016, as word spread of our work in the United States, our group was invited to contribute to a rare moment of systemic change taking place in Saudi Arabia. We were asked to propose international programming for the newly established King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) and later, the Misk Art Institute, a cultural organization led by Edge of Arabia co-founder, Ahmed Mater.

These projects were an opportunity to increase the impact of our artist-led, cross-cultural model and our programming was always guided by a commitment to open dialogue and curatorial integrity. Our collaborations to date include exhibitions in Detroit, Memphis, Salt Lake City, Aspen, Los Angeles, Lewiston, New York, San Francisco and Houston; a two year residency for young Saudi artists in New York; establishing a permanent pavilion for Saudi Arabia at the Venice Biennale; and creating the Kingdom’s first art book fair.

As the culmination of its US tour, Edge of Arabia launched the Arab Art & Education Initiative (AAEI), in October 2018. It's aim was to connect contemporary Arab culture with diverse audiences across the five boroughs of New York City. Delivered by a coalition of artists, foundations, and major institutions, the city-wide, year-long program aims to build greater understanding between the United States and the Arab world. Programming for the AAEI is guided by a commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a collection of 17 global goals set forth by the UN and world leaders in 2015 to realize a better world by 2030.

To date, the AAEI’s program has included artists of differing genders, faiths, and sexual orientations from Egypt, Palestine, Iran, Iraq, Morocco, Pakistan, Lebanon, Syria, Kuwait, UAE, Bahrain, US, UK, and Saudi Arabia. Upcoming programming, includes an artists-in-schools project that will feature artists from Syria, Palestine, and North Africa; a book launch for Sudanese cartoonist Khalid Albaih; an exhibition of Yemeni painters; and a major collaboration with Iraqi expeditionary artist, Rashad Salim.

2018

NEW YORK-NY, WASHINGTON-DC, LOS ANGELES-CA, NEW YORK-NY

2017

NEW YORK-NY, MEMPHIS-TN, HOUSTON-TX, FORT STANTON-TX, EL PASO-TX, LOS ANGELES-CA, SAN DIEGO-CA, STANDING ROCK-ND, NEW YORK-NY

2016

SAN DIEGO-CA, TIJUANA-MEXICO, MEXICALI-MEXICO, LAS CRUCES-NM, EL PASO-TX, JUAREZ-MEXICO, MARFA-TX, PALESTINE-TX, HOUSTON-TX, WASHINGTON-DC, NEW YORK-NY, NEW ORLEANS-LU, MEMPHIS-TN, HOUSTON-TX, ASPEN-CO, SALT LAKE CITY-UT, SAN FRANCISCO-CA, LYONS-NE, GRAND JUNCTION-CO, SALT LAKE CITY-UT, WOUNDED KNEE-SD, STANDING ROCK-ND, WASHINGTON-DC, NEW YORK-NY

2015

BOSTON-MA, NEW YORK-NY, LEWISTON-ME, ACADIA-ME, PALESTINE-OH, DETROIT-MI, OMAHA-NE, WOUNDED KNEE-SD, ASPEN-CO, SEDONA-AZ, SAN DIEGO-CA, LOS ANGELES-CA

2014

HOUSTON-TX, BATON ROUGE-AL, ASHVILLE-NC, WASHINGTON-DC, NEW YORK-NY, CAMBRIDGE-MA

 

 

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