In the heart of the heart of another country* is a collaborative project between contemporary art and sociο-political issues, organised by AIN, Mansion and TWIXTlab.
Since inception in January 2008, AIN, a Paris-based non-profit organisation has focused on the contemporary Syrian art scene.
Mansion is a multi-purpose collective house located in Beirut’s Zoqaq al-Blat and inhabited by artists, researchers and activists. Its main principle is to claim the rights to the city.
TWIXTlab is a project based in Athens, founded by anthropologists and artists. It brings together contemporary arts and humanities as “tools” to understand and intervene in everyday life a period of vast socio-political transitions.
The project aims to open up multiple discussions about the situation in Syria and the political and socio-economic crisis in both Greece and Lebanon. As well to prompt interactions between the ways people resist in each region. Moreover, a significant factor is the presence of displaced people, the so-called migrants or refugees, and their cultural influence on artistic and activist practices in these three countries.
The programme includes screenings, discussions, socio-political debates and artist talks. Artists, activists and researchers from Greece, Lebanon and Syria or based in these countries will share and exchange thoughts, methods and skills to analyze, intervene and create new perspectives within the radical current socio-political transformations the three countries are experiencing. Ideally, the programme will be the first step towards a long-term collaborative platform.
* The title was borrowed from Etel Adnan’s poetry book of the same title, published in 2005. Adnan is an accomplished Lebanese-American poet, essayist and visual artist, whose work has never shied away from facing up to the tragedies of modern history. Born in 1925, Adnan was raised in Beirut; her mother was Greek from Smyrna and her father Syrian from Damascus. She spends her time between Paris, Beirut and California.
Io Chaviara (TWIXTlab), Sandra Iché (Mansion), Delphine Leccas (AIN), Ghassan Maasri (Mansion)
Ain is a non-profit organisation launched in 2008 in Damascus. The association focuses on the contemporary Syrian art scene and regularly organises screenings, exhibitions, round tables and performances in the Middle East and Europe, among them the Visual Arts Festival Damascus in 2010, the 2011 Thessaloniki Bienniale, the Rotterdam International Film Festival 2012, Depo, in Istanbul in 2013, the Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologien (ZKM) in Karlsruhe (2014), as well as the Institute for Islamic Culture in Paris in 2015.
Having recently relocated to Beirut, AIN is particularly interested in creating platforms to support Syrian artists abroad, creating links with their new countries of residence and pursuing its orginal aim of showcasing the Syrian art scene.
Founded by Ghassan Maasri (architect, artist and activist) and Sandra Iché (writer, contemporary dancer and artist), Mansion is an artist-run, self-dependent shared house. It’s a huge and beautiful villa from the 1930s situated in Beirut’s historical neighbourhood of Zoqaq el-Blat. Uninhabited since 1982, the house with its spacious rooms, high ceilings and terraced garden has come back to life in 2012, in the form of a multi-purpose collective space, that is conceived as an attempt at unlocking our rights to the city as users, private and public. It hosts public film screenings, discussions, performances and exhibitions and artists’ residencies, and offers 10 working studios for permanent residents (artists, architects, designers, anthropologists, bicycle couriers, cinema club, urban activists, families, etc.).
TWIXTlab is situated between and betwixt, contemporary art, anthropology and social reality. This Athens-based Lab’s activities bring together artistic and anthropological research and are characterised by their systematic reference to humanities’ and social sciences’ critical discourse. It adopts the form of a laboratory in order to propose or to support interventions in everyday life.
TWIXTlab offers a number of seminars, talks, workshops, screenings, etc. and is addressed to anyone who wishes to participate without any prerequisite background knowledge of contemporary art and/or anthropology.
The Greek Film Archive is a non-profit cultural organisation, which has now settled into its new home at the Lais Building, heralding a new era in the history of the institution and in the Greek capital‘s cultural life. The Archive is equipped with the infrastructure it needs to fulfill its dual role as a museum and a digital library, but also to continue nurturing a new generation of cinephiles.
Dawawine, a cultural and artistic space in Beirut’s Gemmayzeh, is dedicated to performing and audiovisual arts. It welcomes book enthusiasts, artists, art amateurs and the general public concerned with performing arts, audio-visual arts and music. The centre is made up of a specialised bookstore, a documentation space, a private screening room, a conference room and café.