Residency Unlimited

Art and Conflict—The Impact of Theater in Lebanon

Monday December 4, 2023 | 6:00pm

Location: Residency Unlimited
360 Court Street (main green church doors), Brooklyn NY 11231 (map)

In his recent book Art and Conflict: The Impact of Theater in Lebanon (Geneva: Editions Slatkine, 2022), Michel Abou Khalil offers unique insight in the role of theater as a bringer of peace in a Lebanon traumatized by recurring tensions. This art form is a lifeline against violence and everyday trauma, helps decipher crises, and activate long-term reconciliation. Abou Khalil will survey the history of Lebanese theater practice through its societal roots, post-war memorial research impact on peacebuilding in contemporary Lebanon. Three theoretical fields serve as a framework: the effectiveness of catharsis, the work of memory and a new interdisciplinary field of investigation focusing on the resolution and transformation of conflicts through “Art in Conflict”.

This essay results from Abou Khalil’s doctoral research and professional experience both as a theatrical performer who lived through the civil war and as cultural attaché at the Swiss Embassy in Beirut. As a cultural producer, one of his goals is to measure the effectiveness and limits of theatrical practice in the promotion of peace and human rights.

Click below to see images from the program

Art and Conflict—The Impact of Theater in Lebanon

About

Michel Abou Khalil gained a Masters degree in Drama at the Lebanese University followed by a doctorate in French literature at the Arab University of Beirut (BAU). His writings include “POST-WAR CULTURE AND RECONCILIATION: FROM OPTIMISM TO RESILIENCE“, “L’ART POST-CATASTROPHE: UN TÉMOIN ACTIVISTE” and “WRITE TO HEAL: THE THEATRICAL WORKSHOP FOR THINKING AND HEALING WOUNDS“. Former cultural attaché at the Swiss Embassy in Lebanon, Abou Khalil is the co-founder of SWISS MADE CULTURE, an association which celebrates the culture of Switzerland in dialogue with the world.

 

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

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