The voice was a critical element of the development of intercultural dialogue in Greek Antiquity. The right to speak was often a privilege reserved to the gods and the upper classes. After the fall of the Roman Empire, most classical writings, still written in Greek, were preserved by Greek speaking Byzantine and Islamic scholars who sought to import Greek philosophy and science into Islamic culture, thereby paving the way to a particular scientific outlook of the world, grounded on narration, testimony and documentation. Yet, what effects might unfold if these allegedly objective tools were deployed for contra-factual ends? Is History a factual and truthful account?
Walid Raad will present his two long-term ongoing art projects The Atlas Group (1989–2004), and Scratching on things I could disavow (2007–) in this talk, moderated by Delfim Sardo, Professor of Contemporary Art History, curator and essayist. Raad’s works explore elements that relate to real events and authentic research emphasising the importance of performance, narrative, and storytelling. In The Atlas Group Raad concentrates on documents, stories, and situations about the Lebanese wars of the past few decades. In Scratching on things I could disavow, his focus shifts to the history of art in the Arab world, emphasising the emerging infrastructures for the arts throughout the Arab world.