Talk: Chronologies and the Question of Periodization

A public talk by Ashraf Osman, Pierre France and Nadia von Maltzahn in collaboration with the Sursock Museum

Thursday, 6 July 2023, 6pm at the Sursock Museum Auditorium

Exhibition view “Beyond Ruptures, a Tentative Chronology” (2023), curated by Karina El Helou, research and timeline by Ashraf Osman.
Photo: Walid Rashid. Courtesy of the Nicolas Ibrahim Sursock Museum.

The talk Chronologies and the Question of Periodization departs from the exhibition Beyond Ruptures, a Tentative Chronology which takes the form of a historical timeline from 1952 until 2023 exploring three chronologies: that of the Sursock Museum, of its exhibitions, and of significant local socio-political events. In this talk, we will introduce the making of the exhibition timeline, reflect on methodologies and challenges when attempting a chronology of a contested history, and question the conventional periodization of Lebanon’s art history. 
Ashraf Osman is PhD candidate in History of Art as part of LAWHA, with a position between Università Cà Foscari (Venice) and the Orient-Institut Beirut (OIB). He holds a Master of Advanced Studies in Curating from the Zurich University of the Arts (Switzerland) and a Master of Architecture from Syracuse University (New York). His practice encompasses olfactory art, socially-engaged art, and the architectural and urbanistic memory of the Lebanese War. Ashraf researched and wrote the timeline for the exhibition Beyond Ruptures.

Pierre France is a Research Associate at the Orient-Institut Beirut. A PhD candidate (defense in waiting) in Political Science at Aix-Marseille University, his doctoral research focused on the process of the Lebanese state’s survival throughout the Lebanese war (1975-1990). Pierre’s current research project, “Fictio Statis. Unreliable numbers, Private Statistics and Economists’ careers in Lebanon (1950-1990)”, aims at unfolding the question of numbers in Lebanon, from the mandate era to the contemporary period. In parallel, Pierre is developing a chronology of the Lebanese wars.
Nadia von Maltzahn is Research Associate at the Orient-Institut Beirut (OIB), where she leads the research project LAWHA “Lebanon’s Art World at Home and Abroad: Trajectories of artists and artworks in/from Lebanon since 1943”, funded by the European Research Council. She holds a DPhil in Modern Middle Eastern Studies from St Antony’s College, University of Oxford. Nadia’s recent publications include The Art Salon in the Arab Region: Politics of Taste Making (Beirut: Orient-Institut Beirut, 2018), co-edited with Monique Bellan.

The talk will be followed by a Q&A. 

In English – Free admission.

Cite this blog post
Nadia von Maltzahn (2023, July 3). Talk: Chronologies and the Question of Periodization. LAWHA Lebanon's Art World at Home and Abroad. Retrieved April 14, 2024, from

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