Art on a Green Line

Art on a Green Line

Carleton University

Johnny Alam, Beirut’s Green Line, 2015. Acrylic, pigment-transfer,
thread, and ink on canvas, 20 x 24 inches. Photo courtesy of the
artist. © Johnny Alam 2015.
January 19, 2015
Art on a Green Line

19 January–14 April 2015

Carleton University Art Gallery
St. Patrick’s Building
Carleton University
1125 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, Ontario, K1S 5B6

The Migration and Diaspora Studies initiative at Carleton University proudly presents the exhibition Art on a Green Line, featuring artworks by transnational Lebanese contemporary artists Hassan Choubassi, Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, Merdad Hage, Lamia Joreige, Jayce Salloum, Pierre Sidaoui and by the curator and TD fellow in Migration and Diaspora Studies, Johnny Alam.

Between 1975 and 1990, Lebanon was a battleground for local and international conflicts that split the country and the capital along competing ideologies. The demarcation line separating East and West Beirut came to be known as the Green Line. While the origin of this designation is not certain, the Green Line aptly described the post-apocalyptic cityscape it traversed, where streets and buildings were overtaken by wild vegetation. Although the boundary has ceased to exist physically, it remains psychologically present as a negative site of memory, reflecting Lebanon’s “geography of fear.”

Nearly a quarter century after the termination of the conflicts, Art on a Green Line presents a collection of wartime narratives depicting the Green Line that are intriguingly woven across a rich variety of media, including photographs, videos, books, postcards, and even a metro map. The works re-present vivid experiences of everyday life during wartime performing as alternative forms of history and memory that transport anecdotal knowledge about the Lebanese wars across borders, places and times.

About MDS
From its very beginnings, Carleton University has welcomed the world, explored it in many fields of study and embraced the obligations of national and international citizenship. Our Migration and Diaspora Studies (MDS) initiative offers Canada’s first and only undergraduate degree program to bring together a broad spectrum of academic understandings of human mobility from the arts, humanities and social sciences.

Students, faculty, and professionals affiliated with MDS are leading participants in local, national and international debates about citizenship, cosmopolitanism, diversity, exile, integration and pluralism. They contribute to established disciplines and burgeoning research centres, as well as innovative urban laboratories and creative CultureHubs that bring the transnational study of arts, culture and education into productive dialogue with Carleton’s expertise in fields such as public policy, diplomacy, refugee studies, and state security.



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January 19, 2015

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