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,



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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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,

2014 Calling !

December 31, 2013

2014 Calling !

Best wishes for 2014!

This exhibition opens the conference “From A Sudan to Another: Social and Political Restructurings Underway”, 10-12 June 2013, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 

Download the programme! 



May 8, 2013


For the first time ever in Ethiopia, the fossil of Lucy is exhibited at the National Museum *until Sunday 12 May* only.

I curated this exhibition organized for the return of Lucy from US. I’ll write something about this experience soon here. Stay tuned.

2013 wishes

January 11, 2013

2013 wishes

Best wishes for 2013.

Dictionnaire des Orientalistes de langue française, édition revue et augmentée

The Dictionnaire des Orientalistes is living a third life: the 2nd revised and enlarged edition has been released last week! It’s a new version of the Dictionnary I already talked about (see here). New entries were added, mistakes were corrected. In all, the 2d edition is about 100 pages thicker than the previous one. In the meanwhile, the team (I should write network) worked hard and published that book: Après l’orientalisme, l’Orient créé par l’Orient.  These are perfect christmas presents, aren’t they?

I was honoured to write new entries and correct old ones. I was specially honoured to write an entry for Oleg Grabar which inspired a lot my approach and still remain a model.

The newest of the Louvre galleries has opened this week: Islamic Art is now displayed in a marvel of architecture. Does Display (re)invent Islamic Art? This article examines how Islamic Art as an academic field was invented at the turn of the 20th century as it was being exhibited  in Paris, Munich or London. It analyses the French connection in the invention of Islamic art and reflects on the political meaning of exhibiting Islamic Art in a post-9/11 context and the Orientalist tradition: unveiling the Louvre veil on Islamic art.

The first islamic Art display at the Louvre: Delort de Gléon room, Pavillon de l’horloge, 1921

That article was published (in French) in Qantara, the cultural magazine of the Institut du Monde Arabe (Paris), #82, winter 2012. The issue was dedicated to the Invention of Islamic Art.

Musée du Louvre, Department of Islamic Art, Mario Bellini & Rudy Ricciott architects, 2012

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A Photograph Exhibition: Sudan(s) Frontiers & Frontlines

by Jérôme Tubiana
@French Center for Ethiopian Studies Library and Garden.
From 11 to 22 June. Entrance free.

After its independence in 1956, Sudan has seen the upraisal of various rebellions in its peripheries. This has soon led to a fragmentation of the Sudanese territory into areas controlled by the government and others controlled by the rebels, separated by frontlines or fluid « no man’s lands », which were often true « nomads’ lands » – pastoralists having kept crossing the boundaries without necessarily feeling they should belong to one side. With the independence of South Sudan in mid-2011, those frontlines or buffer zones have now become (disputed) borderlands. Researcher and photographer, Jérôme Tubiana has been travelling around those old and new frontiers since 2004, starting with the border between Darfur and Chad, and most recently the new borderlands between North and South Sudan.

I’ve currated this exhibition.
Opening on Monday 11 June 2012. Come!