Orientalism After Edward Said

February 13, 2016

Orientalism has been at the core of my study for more than a decade.

Orientalism is a research topic and, one might say, a way of life. Reading Mathias Enard’s acclaimed novel Boussole, seemed like a trip in my biography, or a biography of the my generation as a “post-Saidian” ‘Orientalist’. Can one be a post-saidian orientalist nowadays?

LS_1984_Cairene Billboards_45 web image

Lucien Samaha, Cinema Radio and Modern (Cairo Billboards), 1984, Printed 2014, Archival Pigment Print, 76.2×111.8 cm, Courtesy of the Artist and Lombard Freid Gallery, New York

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Best Wishes for 2016

January 31, 2016

Dear colleagues, dear readers, dear friends,

In extremis, I send you my very best wishes for 2016.

I look forward to seeing you all and each of you again this year, in Abu Dhabi, in Paris, in Cairo, in Tripoli, in Beirut, in Addis Ababa, in Delhi… in everywhere there is culture and museums in the making.

My understanding of museums, art and research as essential tools to bring people and cultures together becomes more solid everyday.  Thus, I wish you a lot of museum visits, a lot of conferences, and millions of dialogues everywhere and everyday in 2016.

All the best,

Jean-Gabriel  

 

Best wishes 2016: Ensemble

Best wishes 2016

This post provides a short introduction to a history of photography (and photograph collections) in the Arabian Peninsula. It was written in March 2012 as a report of the extensive fieldwork research I did in 2011 in the framework of the Middle East Photograph Preservation Initiative (MEPPI), organised by the Arab Image Foundation (Beirut), the Getty Conservation Institute, and the funding of the Andrew Mellow Foundation. Since I wrote this piece, several initiatives took place, including the New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) Akkash: Center for Photography.

Photographs found in a building about to be destroyed that used to host Studio Jamal in Kuwait City, oct. 2011

Photographs found in a building about to be destroyed that used to host Studio Jamal in Kuwait City, oct. 2011

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I am happy to announce that the Ethiopian City Guides latest issue on Gondar has just been released by the French Centre for Ethiopian Studies (CFEE) in Addis Ababa. This is one of the last projects to emerge from those I (co)managed in Addis Ababa (2011-2014).

The idea of the collection is very simple: help tourists and visitors to discover the hidden gems of Ethiopian cities, thus encouraging them to spend one more night in these cities, and collaborating to the cities’ economy.

Gondar City-Guide, CFEE- Shama Books, Addis Ababa, 2015

Gondar City-Guide, CFEE- Shama Books, Addis Ababa, 2015

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What do Voltaire, Mozart, Bonaparte, Freud, Hergé, Elizabeth Taylor, and Michael Jackson have in common? 

To find out the answer, read Florence Quentin’s Livre de Egyptes, released on 29 January 2015, which explores the everlasting Western fascination for Egypt.

Extras on the set of Mankiewicz 's Cleopatra,1963

Extras on the set of Mankiewicz ‘s Cleopatra,1963

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Happy New Year! In Arabic: a usual Gulf Arabic greetings for New year and main festivals.

Happy New Year!
In Arabic: a usual Gulf Arabic greetings for New year and main festivals.

Dear readers,

Before it is too late, I wish you all a happy 2015!

As expected, 2014 was a busy year. I have been busy with the achievement of two of my main projects: the Ras Ghimb castle in Gondar and the Department of Paleontology at the National Museum of Ethiopia in Addis Ababa. There were many other projects in 2014 at the French Center for Ethiopian Studies such as the First Conference of Islamic Manuscripts held on March,  the publication of the Ethiopian CityGuides, etc.  Read the rest of this entry »

The Gallery of Paleontology at the National Museum Of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa was officially opened on 3rd of December hence celebrating the 40th anniversary of Lucy’s discovery. I managed this project from November 2011 to August 2014, while at the French Center for Ethiopian Studies.

View of the Gallery Read the rest of this entry »

On Friday 24 January 2014, the Cairo Museum of Islamic Art was severely damaged in a suicide car bomb attack that might have targeted the nearby State Security premises. The extent of the damages on artefacts is still unknown but reports describe the “indescribable” destruction of the building and display re-inaugurated in 2010 as many of the glass window panes were shattered as a result of the blast. It seems the museum was not a primary target but a collateral victim of a wave of terrorist attacks on the eve of the third anniversary of the 25 January Revolution due to its location.

Image

The Cairo Museum of Islamic Art is a unique institution because of its very location in the Middle East, in the land of Orientalism. This location questions the reciprocity of the East-West relation of Orientalism: Can displaying Arab art in an Arab country constitute an “oriental” answer to Orientalism?  Read the rest of this entry »

Best wishes for 2014

January 7, 2014

*Faites vos jeux !

*2014 Faites vos jeux !

Dear Friends, Dear Readers,

I wish you health, research, discoveries and success in your projects for the starting new year.
2014 will be challenging.  I will achieve two museums projects: the Ras Ghimb Museum in Gondar and the opening of the galleries of Paleontology where Lucy is displayed at the National Museum of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa. I will also have to find a new position, new projects after I leave Ethiopia in September. New beginnings ahead. 
I also wish I had more time to post and reflect on the ongoing works at the cross roads of Museums studies and International relations. Many thoughts to share on the process of building museums and displays, restitutions of heritage pieces, cultural cooperation mechanisms. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, do not hesitate to get in touch.
All the best,
Jean-Gabriel

2014 Calling !

December 31, 2013

2014 Calling !

Best wishes for 2014!