Haraka: Experimental Lab for Arab Art and Social Thought is an interdisciplinary and dynamic space that bridges the arts and social sciences. Haraka is a multivalent word in Arabic that means “movement” in the broadest sense of the word (embodied, political, and social) and also means “diacritic” the kind of symbol that accompanies Arabic letters in written form and is fundamental to giving meaning to the language. Haraka aims to produce knowledge about the region by “theorizing up” from the materials, ideas, and institutions of the region itself. Through research, archives, pedagogy, and exchange platforms that activate the Global Network of NYU as well as a grounded connection to the thinkers, artists, and alumni in the region, Haraka is a space for movement and flow but also for a more nuanced reading of the politics of translation and knowledge production.
Haraka: Experimental Lab for Arab Art and Social Thought runs three projects.
Tracing Migrations is a research project which documents the lives, careers, and contributions of artists and cultural practitioners in the Gulf region. The project uses migration as a departure point to explore: career mobility, movement of ideas, global circulation of capital, societal transformation, and physical migrations at different scales (within country, between countries, and across regions). The data collected for this project will be useful to both art historians interested in going beyond institutional narratives and archives as well as to social scientists who research the political, social, and economic forces shaping art and artworlds in this region.
Dates: December 6, 2021 - August 5, 2022
This inaugural exhibition of al Mawrid Arab Center for the Study of Art at New York University Abu Dhabi was commissioned by New York University’s 19 Washington Square North in New York.
Organized by Haraka: Experimental Lab for Arab Art and Social Thought
Curator: May Al-Dabbagh, Assistant Professor of Social Research and Public Policy
For an overview of Sharbaka: Entanglement/Attunement, the inaugural exhibition of al Mawrid Arab Center for the Study of Art, organized by Haraka Lab for 19 WSN in New York, see this brief video: