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Ahmed Jadallah, A voter checks her name before casting her vote during the second day of voting in Egypt's presidential election, at a polling station in Giza, Egypt, June 17, 2012. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah. Courtesy of the Artist and Thomson Reuters.

FotoFest 2014 “VIEW FROM INSIDE: Conference on Visual Art in the Arab World”

Saturday, Mar 29, 2014
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Law Building, Lower Level
1001 Bissonnet Map & Directions


Founded in 1983, FotoFest created the first international biennial of photography and photo-related art in the United States, held biennially since 1986.

This conference presents an overview of the history of Arab culture and art with a special focus on the history of visual, photographic, and media art. Talks and presentations are by Arab artists, scholars, arts professionals, and participants from the commercial and nonprofit art worlds.


  • Introduction/Welcome, Gary Tinterow, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
  • “FotoFest 2014 Biennial—VIEW FROM INSIDE,” Wendy Watriss, FotoFest
  • Curatorial Overview: The Exhibitions and Forums, Karin Adrian von Roques, FotoFest 2014 Arab Exhibitions
  • “What is the Arab World?” Ussama Makdisi, Rice University
  • “Art and Culture in the Arab Worlds: Historical Overview and Art in the Arab World Today,” Salawa Mikdadi, art historian
  • “History of Photography in the Arab World,” Samer Mohdad, artist, Fondation Arabe pour l’Image, Beirut
  •  “From Palestine to Berlin: Making Contemporary Art between Cultures,” Steve Sabella, artist
  • Question and Answer, Steve Sabella, artist; Samer Mohdad, artist; and Salwa Mikdadi, art historian

Lunch Break, 1–2 p.m.


  • Roundtable “From the Grassroots to the World Stage: Artists from Saudi Arabia“ (presented with Edge of Arabia), Stephen Stapleton, Edge of Arabia; Stephen Stapleton; Mona Khazindar, Institut du Monde Arabe; Hamza Serafi,
  • Athr Gallery; and Ahmed Mater, artist
  • “A Changing World: The Role of the Artist,” Ahmed Mater, artist
  • Roundtable: “Gender in the Photographic Arts: Middle East and North Africa,” Maya El Khalil, Athr Gallery; Huda Lutfi, artist; Rula Halawani, artist; and Sama AlShaibi, artist
  • “Mixing Media—From Photography to Video and Social Media,” Khaled Hafez, artist
  • Roundtable: “Looking at the Future—Viewpoints,” Steve Sabella, artist; Ahmed Jadallah, artist; Maya El Khalil, Athr Gallery; Salawa Mikdadi, art historian; and Khaled Hafez, artist

A reception to meet some of the speakers and artists, with a book signing, follows. See a list of Photo Book Fest 2014 titles available in The MFAH Shop.

Reserve your free ticket in advance! Use the "Get Tickets" button above and print at home; call 713.639.7771; or visit any MFAH admissions desk.

Education programs receive generous funding from the Kinder Foundation; the Institute of Museum and Library Services; ExxonMobil; the Favrot Fund; Occidental Petroleum Corporation; Mr. William J. Hill; the National Museum of Korea; the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Susanne M. and Melbern G. Glasscock;
The Brown Foundation, Inc.; The Americana Foundation; The Crain Foundation; TMK IPSCO; Cameron International Corporation; Aggie and Joe Foster; Houston Junior Woman’s Club; the Sterling-Turner Foundation; and The Susan Vaughan Foundation.