Haraka: Experimental Lab for Arab Art and Social Thought

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.

    Inaugural Event

    Sharbaka: Entanglement/Attunement Exhibition

    Dates: December 6, 2021 - May 6, 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


Team
 

May al-Dabbagh
Assistant Professor of Social Research and Public Policy  

Email: md166@nyu.edu

Website: www.mayaldabbagh.org

May al-Dabbagh is an Assistant Professor of Social Research and Public Policy. She conducts research on gender and globalization using a combination of social psychology, public policy, and post-colonial feminist lenses. Her current book project, The Messy Middle, is an ethnography of serial migration in Dubai focusing on motherhood, work, and movement. She has received fellowships from the Center of Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (Stanford), The Women and Public Policy Program (Harvard), and The Global Institute for Advanced Study and Tisch School of the Arts (NYU).


At al Mawrid, she runs Haraka: Experimental Lab for Arab Art and Social Thought which focuses on contemporary art in the Gulf/Khaleej and bridges the social sciences and arts at NYUAD.

Al-Dabbagh holds a BA from Harvard University and a PhD from University of Oxford.


Ban Kattan
Research Associate

Email: bk3689@nyu.edu

Ban Kattan is a research associate at Haraka: Experimental Lab for Arab Art and Social Thought. Her areas of interest cover issues of human and institutional capacity building, sustainable development, gender equality, as well as Arab art and culture.

Ban holds a BS in business administration from the American University of Sharjah, a BA in gender and women studies from York University, Canada, and a MA in art in development studies from York University focusing on organization capacity building through knowledge transfer. Ban specializes in translation practices for art and culture organizations in the Middle East and is certified by the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario, Canada.