ARTS 25
Ancient and Contemporary Arts Intertwined in Luxor Winter 2022

Cross-listed ARAB 25 / ARTS 25

Class Details

This course considers how Egyptian artists bridge a rich ancient history with the current cultural moment. In particular, we investigate art practices particular to the 2011 Egyptian revolution and the Arab Spring. We start our journey in North Adams at a mural created by Egyptian artist and professor Alaa Awad in 2014. We’ll consider how Awad and other artists helped shape a movement that became the 2011 Egyptian revolution and aftermath, as well as how they are addressing the country’s return to authoritarian rule. In Luxor we’ll visit Alaa Awad’s West Bank studio where he’ll lead a mural-painting workshop based on his methods that incorporate ancient Egyptian mythology to address contemporary issues. Our investigation includes visiting Luxor’s temples and tombs where we’ll explore ideas through visual documentation in drawing, watercolor, and text. We’ll also participate in workshops with Egyptian art students at Luxor College of Art where Awad teaches, and visit a community-run art center on the West Bank. In Cairo we examine the current Egyptian moment through a variety of artistic lenses: making studio visits with contemporary artists. We’ll visit the new Grand Egyptian Museum, Dashur and Giza pyramids, and a community art-initiative ‘Fagnoon’. Significant preparation including reading and discussions of texts and media is required to help gain a context for cultural issues in the Middle-East/North Africa. Students will study basic techniques of drawing and watercolor painting for visual documentation and exploration during a fall semester workshop and at the start of WSP on campus. Some experience with drawing and/or some Arabic highly encouraged, but not required. Students are evaluated on the quality of written work and visual note taking, including detailed documentation of each artist we visit, and participation in a presentation of work on campus.
The Class: Format: travel
Limit: 10
Grading: pass/fail only
Requirements/Evaluation: short paper and final project or presentation, final project or presentation
Prerequisites: Open to Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors. No prerequisite but interest and some experience in Art history, Studio Art, Middle Eastern Studies, and or Arabic would be helpful.
Enrollment Preferences: Students will be chosen on the strength of their application, references, and interview.
Unit Notes: Julia Morgan works in drawing, painting and time-based media. Her works have been exhibited and screened internationally in venues in Cairo, Egypt, Berlin, Germany, Taipei, Taiwan, New York and Los Angeles as well as regionally in the US. She holds an MFA from Vermont College.
Materials/Lab Fee: 3,500
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
ARAB 25 ARTS 25
Attributes: TRVL Winter Study Travel Course

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