WORKSHOP: Spaces and Places – Art Exhibitions in Lebanon (1940s-1990s)

  • Wednesday, 13 September, Lebanese University, Faculty of Fine Arts and Architecture, Branch 3, Tripoli, Auditorium
  • Thursday, 14 September, Orient-Institut Beirut, Library (live-stream:

This workshop aims at examining the role of cultural clubs and centres in promoting visual arts in Lebanon. Among the first cultural clubs in Lebanon was the Cultural Ligue in Tripoli (est. in 1943), followed by the Arab Cultural Club in Beirut (est. in 1944). The Cultural Movement Antelias (est. in 1978) is another example of clubs across Lebanon. Among the foreign cultural centres which were active in the promotion of visual arts are the Goethe-Institut, the John F. Kennedy Center, the French Cultural Club, the British Council, as well as the Italian, Spanish, Iraqi and Russian/Soviet Cultural Centres, and the Hamazkaïne Center/École Palandjian, most of which have a long history in Lebanon and their share in shaping the cultural scene mainly since the 1960s.

The workshop aims to reconstruct some of the exhibition history of these organisations and to reevaluate their role in the promotion of visual arts. Were art exhibitions a priority of certain clubs or centres rather than others? Did they focus on certain art forms, styles or media? Who were the artists exhibiting there? 

The workshop is also interested in the conceptual frameworks associated with these cultural centres and clubs. Can they be categorised as alternative spaces and why? 

Who are their audiences? What role do these spaces play within the local art and cultural scene and what is their relation to the centre Beirut? 

While the first workshop day – organised in collaboration with the Lebanese University – focuses on cultural and artistic initiatives in and from Tripoli and Antelias, the second day – organised in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut – will have a closer look at the role of foreign cultural centres and the Goethe-Institut in particular. Artists, practitioners, and scholars will share their experiences and analyses with a special highlight on the Groupe des dix, an artist group from Tripoli that was founded in 1974. 

Check out the detailed programme here.

The panel on Thursday, 14 September will also be live-streamed and can be access here:

On 13 September, a bus transfer from Beirut to Tripoli and back is organized. Departing at 9am from the Orient-Institut Beirut in Zoqaq al-Blat and arriving back to Beirut around 6pm

On 14 September, a bus transfer from Tripoli to Beirut and back is organized if there is sufficient interest. Departing at 2pm at the Lebanese University in Tripoli (Branch 3) and arriving back around 9pm. This transfer will be confirmed on 11 September.

Please reserve a seat before 10 September by sending an email to:, specifying the date you are reserving for.

Cite this blog post
Nadia von Maltzahn (2023, September 5). WORKSHOP: Spaces and Places – Art Exhibitions in Lebanon (1940s-1990s). LAWHA Lebanon's Art World at Home and Abroad. Retrieved February 28, 2024, from

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