ART AND DESIGN FORUM - ARFD400
Manal Abu-Shaheen (b. 1982) is a Queens-based artist born in Beirut, Lebanon. She received a MFA in Photography from the Yale School of Art, New Haven, CT in 2011; a BA from Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY in 2003; and attended Lebanese American University, Byblos, Lebanon in 1999. Abu-Shaheen will talk about the progression of her work in photography, leading up to her current series of black and white landscape and street photographs from her ongoing series Beirut. Shot in the city where she was born, this series considers connections between the imagery we see in contemporary Beirut and the city’s colonial past. The congestion of billboards reveals the city’s occupation by images of a different place and people, a euro-centric cultural dominance that asserts the necessity of its presence for the achievement of progress. In an arena outside of its origin, the dialogue around representation in western media takes on layers of new meaning, which become inextricably linked to the social history of a distant place.