Rose exhibit catalyst for peacebuilding explorations

The Rose Art Museum exhibition "Dor Guez: 100 Steps to the Mediterranean" has been bookended with visits to Brandeis by people playing important roles in the quest for coexistence and reconciliation around the world.

On Wednesday, Oct. 31, the artist, whose work explores overlooked narratives of the Christian Palestinian minority in the Middle East, will participate in a discussion of the photographic image and its resonance with politics, during “Exposures: Photography and the Politics of Looking.” (2 to 5 p.m., Rose Art Museum).

Guez will be joined in conversation by Dr. Cynthia Cohen, director of the program in Peacebuilding and the Arts at the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life and Dabney Hailey, director of academic programs at the Rose Art Museum. Professor Ilan Troen, director of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, will moderate.

In addition to the featured conversation with Dor Guez, the Oct. 31 event will include keynote lectures by prominent visiting experts. Andrés Mario Zervigón (professor of photography, Rutgers University) will discuss “Between History and Memory: Art, Photography and Archives in the Middle East.” Catherine Cissé van den Muijsenbergh (executive director of the Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation, and expert in international criminal justice and human rights law) will discuss “Zoom In – Narratives and Photography in Zones of Conflict.”

From the beginning, the “Dor Guez: 100 Steps to the Mediterranean” exhibition at the Rose has been a catalyst for thinking and work about peacebuilding, reconciliation, and coexistence. “Exposures” is only the most related recent event to explore this territory.

Farhat Agbaria, a coexistence facilitator based at Givat Haviva and Seeds of Peace, was in residence at Brandeis in September, sponsored by the Ethics Center. Agbaria has facilitated encounters between Israelis and Palestinians for decades, and has been connected to the center since 1998, when he explored coexistence and the quest for justice as a Brandeis International Fellow.

Agbaria, a Muslim Palestinian Israeli, co-facilitated weekend workshops, "Facilitating Encounters Through Art," with Cohen exploring the relationship between dialogue and art. The sessions were designed for artists, cultural workers and leaders of cultural institutions who work or plan to work in zones of violent conflict around the world – including the United States, and welcomed several Brandeis undergraduate students who are exploring the role of arts in peacebuilding.

During his residency Agbaria met with Brandeis students and faculty, engaged student social justice leaders and arts-related club leaders in discussions of how the arts can relate to social justice work, and led several class sessions.

Farhat Agbaria’s residency was cosponsored by the Interfaith Chaplaincy; the Master’s Program in Coexistence and Conflict; the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences; Peace, Conflict and Coexistence Studies; Student Senate and the Theater Arts Department.

Categories: Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, International Affairs

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