al Mawrid Arab Center for the Study of Art

al Mawrid is a research center and archive dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of the visual arts of the Arab world. Through a range of activities that include fellowships, research projects, conferences and colloquia, as well as the construction of a unique open-access archive, al Mawrid aims to be a major resource for scholars, independent researchers, and for educational and art institutions.

The center’s archive encompasses the Arab Art Archive, which acquires primary source materials pertaining to modern and contemporary art across the Arab world, and the Akkasah Photography Archive, which documents different histories and practices of photography in the broader region with a focus on the UAE and the Gulf. al Mawrid’s research operation has two arms: one dedicated to formulating new analytic categories for the history of Arab art, and Haraka: Experimental Lab for Arab Art and Social Thought, which takes the intellectual life of the region as a starting point for exploring alternative modes of knowledge production about its societies and history.

The Center is part of the NYUAD Research Institute and works in collaboration with faculty in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences serving faculty research and undergraduate education.

Center's Highlights

His Excellency Zaki Nusseibeh visits al Mawrid

On March 08, 2023, members of the al Mawrid team welcomed H.E. Zaki Nusseibeh, Cultural Advisor to H.H. the President of the UAE, and Chancellor of United Arab Emirates University. The team discussed its achievements and upcoming plans for the coming years. 

Donata Levi conducts research at al Mawrid

al Mawrid would like to extend its thanks to Donata Levi, for her contributions to al Mawrid's archive. Professor Levi has spent the last few weeks working on the collection of Ahmad Nawash (1934-2017) during his time studying in Italy. 

Donata Levi is Professor for History of Art Criticism and Museology at the University of Udine (Italy) and President of the Fondazione Memofonte in Florence. She received her PhD in 1988 at the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa.

Her main fields of research are art criticism and museology from the 18th to the 20th century as well as the history of the protection of art heritage. She recently edited with Michael Wedekind the volume «Contested Space – Contested Heritage. Sources on the Displacement of Cultural Objects in the 20th Century Alpine-Adriatic Region» (2021). Among her books: «Cavalcaselle. Il pioniere della conservazione dell’arte italiana» (1988) and «Il discorso sull’arte. Dalla tarda antichità a Ghiberti» (2010).

al Mawrid welcomes Lara Baladi as its Resident Fellow in February 2023

Lara Baladi, Resident Fellow (February 2023 - March 2023)

Lara Baladi is an Egyptian-Lebanese artist, archivist and educator recognized internationally for her multidisciplinary works. Her artistic practice spans from photography, video, sculpture to architecture, multimedia installations, textile and scent. Informed by critical investigations into historical archives and the study of popular visual culture, Baladi’s work questions the theoretical divide between myth, memory, sociopolitical narratives and the cycles inherent to History.

Baladi received fellowships from the Japan Foundation (2003) and MIT’s Open Documentary Lab (2014). She was an artist-in-residence at MIT (Ida Ely Rubin Artist in Residence, 2015), MacDowell (New Hampshire, 2015), Art Omi (Ghent, New York, 2014) and VASL, (Karachi, Pakistan, 2010), amongst others.

Within her artistic practice, she is active in socially engaged projects. For more than twenty years, she has been on the board of directors of the Arab Image Foundation in Lebanon and the Townhouse Gallery of Contemporary Art in Egypt. Ongoing since 2011, her media initiative Vox Populi: Tahrir Archives, includes a series of media initiatives (Tahrir Cinema), artworks, publications and an opensource timeline and portal into web-based archives of the 2011 Egyptian revolution and other global social movements.

Baladi’s work has been published, exhibited and featured internationally—the Centre Pompidou, (Paris, France, 2004), Transmediale, (Berlin, Germany, 2016), the Gwangju Biennial, (South Korea, 2018) to the Hasselblad Foundation, (Gothenburg, Sweden, 2021).

Since 2016, Lara Baladi has been a lecturer in MIT's Program Art, Culture, and Technology (ACT).

During her time as a Resident Fellow, Baladi will present a series of lectures, conduct studio visits and work to develop one of her projects. At once an artistic and educational endeavor, Anatomy of Revolution is an interactive web-based artwork & archive, a ‘lesson in History,’ in the form of an ABC of terms and iconography related to global, past and present, social movements.

Shamoon Zamir publishes new book on Yasser Alwan

Yasser Alwan: Egypt Every Day

Congratulations to Shamoon Zamir, Co-principal investigator at al Mawrid and Director of the Akkasah Photography Archive, on his newly published book Yasser Alwan: Egypt Every Day (Hatje Cantz, 2022). 

Head over to Akkasah Photography Archive to view thousands of open-access images from the Yasser Alwan Collection.

Singapore Biennale 2022, "Natasha" Co-curated by Ala Younis

Singapore Biennale 2022, "Natasha"

Ala Younis, al Mawrid Arab Center for the Study of Art's Research Scholar, has been appointed as one of the Artistic Directors of the Singapore Biennale (SB2022), for its seventh edition opening on October 16, 2022. Helmed by four Co-Artistic Directors from around the world, the team comprises Binna Choi from South Korea/the Netherlands, Nida Ghouse from India, living in Germany, June Yap from Singapore and Ala Younis from Jordan and UAE. The Artistic Directors gave the biennale a name, they called it Natasha. 

The main event for Singapore Biennale 2022 (SB2022) will run until March 19, 2023 across a network of sites in Singapore, including Tanjong Pagar Distripark, Sentosa Cove, Lazarus Island and St John’s Island, Yan Kit Playfield, Regional Libraries, Singapore Art Museum (SAM) Residencies and Hoardings. 

Learn more here.

Recent Publications by al Mawrid's team members