What is Orientalism? at The Annex

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Date/Time: 11/06/2003 12:00 am

What is Orientalism? Panel at The Annex 11 June, 7 PM
A Cross-Cultural Dialog in Times of Global Conflict
Orientalism has been defined by Edward Said as being “a way of coming to terms with Orient that is based on the Orient’s special place in European Western experience.” Often discussed as a Western concept that emerged during the 19th and early 20th century that reflected European colonization, economic, political and cultural domination and the construction of “the Other;” Orientalism continues to be an enduring theory and practice whose influence can be found in much of the contemporary media coverage, discussion and thoughts about the region. This panel discussion hopes to discuss how Orientalism, rather than being a thing of the past or an arcane academic concept, is practiced today.
On the occasion of the exhibition Total Screen, Tina La Porta will present a panel discussion in which her artwork will become a trigger for dialog between invited panelists and audience on the topic “What is Orientalism?”
The exhibition curator, Jennifer Farrell will give introductory remarks on the exhibition and will introduce the panelists.
The panelists include:
Shiva Balaghi is Associate Director of the Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies at NYU, where she teaches cultural history and women’s studies. She is currently working on a study of the shifting meanings of the veil in the work of six contemporary Iranian artists in an exhibition entitled Representations of Gender and Islam in Contemporary Iranian Art. Her remarks will stem from this project.
Tala Dowlatshahi is a journalist who has worked with Amnesty International in London, The International Rescue Committee, and various other U.N. agencies. She is the U.S. Representative of Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans Frontieres) – the Paris-based media watchdog organization. Having just returned from Afghanistan, she will discuss the recent conflicts there and in Iraq, as well as how the recent press coverage has poorly reflected the perceptions/depictions of women from these regions.
Eleanor Heartney is an art critic, writer, and curator who is a contributing editor to Art in America and Artpress and has written extensively on issues in contemporary art for magazines such as Artnews, Art and Auction, The New Art Examiner, The Washington Post and The New York Times. She will look at several examples of how nonwestern women have used their own bodies in their work and will discuss the larger aesthetic, cultural and political meanings of their actions.
Rashmi Jaipal is a cross-cultural psychologist specializing in the issues of dialog between cultures. She will discuss the difficulties and barriers involved with projects that attempt to facilitate a dialog between cultures in conflict. Jaipal will moderate the post-panel discussion.
Persheng Vaziri was born and raised in Tehran, Iran. She has directed and produced several projects for the Public Broadcasting System and personal documentary films about Iran. Using segments from her films Women Like Us and Vis à Vis: Beyond the Veil, Vaziri will discuss her experiences portraying Iranian women in these and other projects.
Total Screen opens June 5, 6-8 PM
The exhibition runs from June 5 – June 28, 2003
Whitebox/The Annex
601 West 26th Street (11th Ave)
14th Floor
Tel: 1 646 638 3785

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