Talk and Book Launch: Visions from Abroad, Mona Khazindar


Kazuyoshi Nomachi, Nabatean tomb of Hegra, 1996, courtesy of the artist

The talk will be moderated by Art Consultant and Cultural Strategist Myrna Ayad.

Arabia was certainly the most mysterious country in the world during the historical era, an impenetrable and unknowable realm capable of stimulating the imagination and indeed the wildest fancies of the European intellectual elite. A small handful did, however, risk their lives to journey through Arabia and return with the rare texts and images that form the subject of this publication. These works, or rather the most captivating and successful of them in historical, anthropological and aesthetic terms, are gathered together here and presented in a dozen thematic chapters.

The book constitutes the first world view of Arabia as seen by authors and artists with the common characteristic of being born outside the peninsula. Drawing on both European and Arab sources, it presents images as well as the writings of historians and geographers, such as Ibn Battuta from the Maghreb and Ibn Jubayr from Andalusia, as well as travellers’ accounts of pilgrimages.

Art historian Mona Khazindar is an expert on Arab visual arts in the modern and contemporary period, formerly director general of the Institut du monde arabe to which she was devoted for more than 20 years, and curator of a large number of very important exhibitions. A graduate of the Sorbonne, she has access to all the texts written on Arabia in every era as well as finely honed knowledge of the iconography of this part of the world.

Time: 4-5:30pm

Location: Julius Baer Lounge, Art Dubai