The Lehman Center for Human Rights and Peace Studies (LCHRPS) will be hosting its eighth annual conference on Thursday, March 1 entitled “Artist as Witness: Cultural Production, Conflict, and Human Rights in Syria” at Lehman College. The day-long conference, which begins at 10 a.m. and runs until 6:30 p.m., will held in the East Dining Room of the Music Building on campus. The event is free and open to the public.
Through seven years of war, Syrian artists have played a crucial role as witnesses to the devastation of their country, and to the suffering and fortitude of its people. This conference will explore the varied responses by artists to the ongoing conflict, and the manner in which their voices express the experiences of oppression, trauma, exile, and loss. Rarely seen works by Syrian artists will be featured at the conference, along with discussions with several artists, Syrian academics, and activists.
Among the participating artists are film director Maan Mouslli; playwright Liwaa Yazji; photographer Bassam Khabieh; and violinist Samer Ali. An exhibit by visual artist Mohamed Hafez called Unpacked: Refugee Baggage will be on display as well.
Organizers of the conference include Nour Halabi from the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School of Communications, Marianna al-Tabbaa from New York University, and Professor Christa Salamandra from Lehman College and the Graduate Center, CUNY, now interim director of LCHRPS.
The conference is being co-sponsored by the Leonard Lief Library and Lehman College’s Department of Anthropology.
A full schedule of the events with participants in all of the panel discussions can be found here.