Moving Pakistan Toward Sustainability — Beginning with Trash

Nargis Latif

Twenty years ago, Nargis Latif began Gul Bahao (Flow Flowers) as a research project to propel Pakistan into the twenty-first century, and in doing so, she learned that industry depends on nature, and that business and manufacturing needed to change how they functioned in a way that did not damage nature while conducting business or making things. She began her endeavor in the same place other countries began their sustainability efforts: in the trash. read more

Don’t Go to Iran

Okay, so Iran has a lot of work ahead in the realm of human rights, although many other countries do too. And even if this is a promotional video, we can agree that the greatness and beauty of Iran are its people, cities and countryside — and that beauty exists above and beyond its politics and shortcomings. Should we not go? read more

Ruins — Depicting the Results of War on Yemeni Walls

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Artist Murad Subay depicts the challenges and troubling results of Yemen’s civil war by creating murals and graffiti, drawing attention to the plight of fellow Yemenis and remembrance to thousands of lives lost. Motifs are placed among the bombed ruins underscoring the ongoing warfare and subsequent ravaged landscape. The project is Murad’s fifth undertaking titled Ruins. Choosing wall spaces bordering war zones, the painting and installation was often interrupted by fighting, loss of electricity, and resources. Sometimes supported by fellow artist Thi Yazen, Murad would also enlist the participation of the Yemini community to assist in painting images — thus making the graphical statements communal and not only his own. read more

Iranian Women and Their Robots

The women are on board for the RoboCup IranOpen 2016, an international research and educational initiative whose purpose is to increase exploration of artificial intelligence along with supporting technology and engineering. And of course, being Iran, the presiding themes are those of domination of one group over another — conquering those who oppose you — aggressively undermining opponents — or, as they like to call it, soccer. read more

Architecture as Weaponry: Devastation by Design

The documentary, Rebel Architecture — The Architecture of Violence, by journalist and filmmaker Ana Naomi de Sousa features Israeli architect Eyal Weizman who describes how architecture and urban planning are deployed as an instruments of violence and control. By examining how Israel divides land; installs roads, highways, walls, and fences; commands hilltops, and strategically designs homes and its settlements, we see how architecture and urban planning are used to enact ongoing and effective engulfing of the Occupied Territories and enacting chaos among Palestinian residents. read more

Repurposing Syria’s War Weaponry Into Art Objects

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It is estimated that more that a quarter of a million people have died, and eleven million are displaced in what is now five years of civil war in Syria with no end in sight. With the well-documented dispossession and death, however, comes creative reinterpretation of the war-torn landscape and the deadly weapons that deliver this destruction. Artist Akram Abu al-Fawz collects remnants of weaponry and transforms them into objects of art, adorning them with arabesque motifs and perhaps re-rendering them in motifs that immobilize their destructive meaning. read more

The White Soldier: Soldier Symbols Move Throughout a Militarized World

White Soldier, a performance art concept from Yuda Braun, a former Israeli soldier, who with his colleagues between 2009 and 2013, dressed head to foot in battle gear rendered in pure white, patrolling Israeli-Palestinian cities and neighborhoods invoking self-examination of a largely militarized state and confrontation from observers. read more

Write Down, I Am an Arab — Palestinian National Poet, Mahmoud Darwish

Write Down, I am an Arab, is a documentary by Ibtisam Mara’ana Menuhin about Mahmood Darwish, one of the Middle East’s most prolific and loved contemporary poets. Born in Palestine in 1941 in the village of al-Birwa, Darwish witnessed the razing of his village and home by Israeli forces in 1948. Following this, his family fled to Lebanon and returned later to Acre eventually settling in Deir al-Asad. He studied for one year in Moscow then moved to Cairo. He then spent twenty-six years in exile living between Paris and Beirut during which time he wrote many anthologies of poetry. He died in Houston, Texas in 2008. This is a partial list of his honors and awards: read more

Creative Memory of the Syrian Revolution — Witnessing Revolution Through Art

Revolution Continues
One day, we will cover the Earth with roses, The Revolutionary Movement Team in southern Damascus

The website, Creative Memory of the Syrian Revolution, is a comprehensive  database of art produced by Syrians in the wake of the ongoing war-revolution. The producers of the site note that the war, now in its sixth year, has unleashed an astonishing wave of artistic expression that communicates the challenges to Syrians, its political and cultural upheavals, not to mention the ever-present threat to life and livelihood. read more