Re-Orient Forum

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The Arab Spring and Its Dramatic Reverberations

Chairs: JJ El-Far & Tracy Cameron Francis, Hybrid Theater Works

Panelists: Jay Abdo (actor, Syria), Nasreddine Ben Maati (Tunisia, via Skype), Hadia Mousa (visiting scholar at NYU, Egypt), Naghmeh Samini (playwright and critic, Iran)

Sponsor: Hybrid Theatre Works

Hybrid Theatre Works brings together artists from the Arab World and Iran to reflect upon the socio-political transformation initiated by the current events in the Middle East. The discussion will consider how the “Arab Spring” has changed the landscape for artistic practice as well as what, if any, “revolutionary” aesthetics emerged among Middle East and Arab-American artists both within theater and cross-disciplinary work. Panelists will discuss the role of social media and global audience vis-à-vis local censorship and limitations to Internet access and will further address how performances both at the street level and in professional theatres contributed to and were informed by the uprisings. Panelists will reflect upon what they specifically see as the role of theater artists in shaping a new cultural identity in the wake of political change.

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