JAOU Tunis 2015

The 3rd Edition of Jaou Tunis will be held from 28th to 30th May 2015. Hosted by the Kamel Lazaar Foundation, JAOU Tunis aims to promote the arts and culture of North Africa and the Middle East. It is fast becoming a major art event in the region and this year's event has added pertinence as it follows the indiscriminate attacks at the National Museum of Bardo, Tunis, which took place on 18th March 2015.


Travelling cultural caravan, JAOU brings together artists and gallerists, art specialists and theorists, collectors and cultural practitioners to create a creative platform that represents and empowers the emerging, independent Arab intelligentsia.


This year, JAOU Tunis is comprised of 3 major events:


A conference, Visual culture in an Age of Global Conflict will be held on 28th and 29th May 2015 at the National Museum of Bardo. The conference will include a condition report on visual culture in the Maghreb, an extended series of round table discussions on: collaborative geographies in an age of global conflict; the future of art institutions in the Middle East, the use of archives in contemporary art practices, and the historical genealogies of performance art in the Middle East.


The conference will also feature an accelerated session, hosted by Thinkers and Doers, to enable 4 short-listed cultural entrepreneurs to present projects that promote Arab culture and, in turn, evaluate its economical, social, educational and environmental footprint.


Alongside the conference, JOAU Tunis will showcase a unique, container-based, mobile art exhibition, situated in the heart of Carthage. All The World's a Mosque will explore the interplay between sacred space, religious ritual, cultural convention and everyday life. Artists involved in this include Adel Abidin, Rashed Al Shashai, Zoulikha Bouabdellah, Mounir Fatmi and Moataz Nasr. The idea for the exhibitionwas born in response to the tragic terror attacks and is designed as a reflective and interactive journey. The exhibition will run from 30 May to 15 June 2015 on the steps of the ancient theatre of Carthage. This ambitious project is curated by Lina Lazaar, Contemporary Art Specialist and Director of the Middle East Department, Sotheby's.


In addition, there will be a series of gallery and museum tours and the opening of more than a dozen solo and group exhibitions. Among others, JAOU Tunis 2015 presents Ibrahim Matouss at Gorgi Gallery, Rafik Kamel at Le Violon Bleu and Malek Gnaoui at Selma Feriani Gallery.


Hotel Dar El Marsa will hold an exhibition by Egyptian artist Ahmed Farid with a performance by artist Rochdi Belgasmi. JAOU Tunis also pays tribute to the fathers of L'Ecole de Tunis with a retrospective exhibition of works by Ali Belagha, Jallel Ben Abdallah and Hédi Turki.


Hind Meddeb presents the premier of a new film and a book signing by Nja Mahdaoui at the National Library are also part of this year's programme.


Fari Bradley and Chris Weaver will conduct interviews with a selection of conference panellists and guests for broadcast on arts-music radio station Resonance104.4FM. Daily podcasts will be available to download from the show's webpage.


A full programme of events, discussions and exhibitions will follow shortly. For further information, please contact info@kamellazaarfoundation.org


— Download JAOU 2015 Programme (PDF)
— Download All the World's a Mosque flyer (PDF)


JAOU Founder Lina Lazaar discuses with Fari Bradley the current North African art scene and the origins behind JAOU.


Six Pillars - Lina Lazaar, JAOU Tunis by 6pillars