Thursday, 12 March 2015 09:20

Likaat 2015 (3)

Thursday, 12 March 2015

”Art in Lebanon: facts, issues and problems”

Presented by Nuha Farran


Formulating a theory of the intricacy of the research lies in highlighting the dialectics of privacy and universality, and how to understand the relation between our cultural heritage and the novelty in all the Arab countries as a result of the Arab intelligentsia’s and Lebanese artists’ attitude towards modernism and post-modernism which is reflected by two trends:

1-     A trend that assures the universality and intellectual and humane values of the West.

2-    A trend which refuses the connection between modernity and universality, insisting on the cultural and national specificities.


I chose this topic because of the perturbing questions we face due to the cultural gulf which widens as the days go by between the Arab and Western society. At a time witnessing the aggravation of an identity crisis and that of modernity and post modernity as well as the crisis of cultural change and scientific conflict, the Arab World in its contemporary phase still faces a number of challenges from outside caused by and inherited from colonization in its old and new forms. Besides this there are internal challenges pertaining to the geographic and political fragmentation of the Arabs, which gives rise to several problems, such as the intellectual, ideological and religious divisions of the Arab society. Looking into the problematic relation between modernity and heritage with its influence on art in Lebanon reflects the importance of defining the identity of art in Lebanon. Defining identity regarding art, the artist and the group he belongs to in Lebanon seems to always be problematic and difficult, and to answer the question of identity one has to deal with the various cultural and intellectual issues as well as the social, economic and political aspects…besides all the main activities of the individual, his family and community in Lebanon. All the while it being clear that there is no consensus about defining our specific Lebanese identity with regard to the historical circumstances and the sectarian and ethnic multiplicity, and till now some people still ask whether the Lebanese artist and his art have a specific identity, and the libraries and publishers are still in need of such studies on “Art in Lebanon: the facts, issues and problems”.  

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