Category Archives: Literature

Rethinking Cultural Policies in Lebanon

Zaitunay Bay, Private Property

By Nadia von Maltzahn, Research Associate at the Orient-Institut Beirut and member of the Working Group on Cultural Policies in Lebanon

In Lebanon, the perception that there are no cultural policies is widespread. People’s first thought goes to the Ministry of Culture and its perceived lack of action in the field of culture. However, cultural policies do not only pertain to the work of ministries of culture, but rather are determined by a variety of actors and actions.

In this new article, entitled “What Cultural Policies?”, I apply the concept of explicit and implicit cultural policy to the case of Lebanon, and extend the terms so that the former does not only include cultural policies designated as such by the state, but also those created by civil society and other non-state actors, and that the latter does not only include political strategies, but also encompasses practices that in the end determine cultural policies. By looking at different ways to talk about cultural policies in Lebanon, I aim to show some of the power struggles between multiple actors involved in culture. Cultural frameworks are negotiated by a multitude of actors on the basis of both explicit and implicit policies, but also unwritten laws and practices. Continue reading

A Few Things You Need to Know When Creating an Art Project in a Public Space in Lebanon


Check out the new tool guide on art in public spaces in Lebanon, a project by T.A.P (Temporary Art Platform). This is what T.A.P. says about the project:

A Few Things You Need to Know When Creating an Art Project in a Public Space in Lebanon
Art in public spaces in Lebanon: A research project and tool guide on the legal and administrative challenges and opportunities

In collaboration with Nayla Geagea, Attorney at Law

This research project and tool guide is part of the long-term vision that TEMPORARY. ART. PLATFORM (T.A.P) holds, particularly in the encouragement and development of art in public spaces in Lebanon. Continue reading

USJ: Master Professionnel en critique d’art et curatoriat, Faculté des lettres et des sciences humaines

In order to connect researchers and contribute towards creating a knowledge base on cultural policies in Lebanon, we have started to collect information on MA and PhD theses completed at universities in Lebanon on relevant topics.

At the Université Saint-Joseph (USJ), a professional Master in art criticism and curatorial studies was launched in 2010 at the Department of French Literature at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.

According to its website, the programme aims to train specialists of art from the region as well as experts in artistic and cultural professions. It allows students to familiarize themselves with issues of contemporary practices and the local context, and to become actors in the artistic and cultural scene. It responds to a growing demand for professionalization, and contributes to the emergence of innovative projects.

In a conversation with Nayla Tamraz, head of the French Literature department and programme director, we learn that graduates of the Master’s programme are in high demand, and often work in parallel to their academic studies (read an article about the Master here). Since the degree programme is still fairly young, only a small number of Master’s theses have been completed to date.

Of these, the following two are of particular interest to us:

Hage, Maya. Art et devoir de mémoire dans le Liban d’après Guerre: le musée d’art au cœur des enjeux nationaux. 2014-2015. (108 p.) Description bibliographique

Homsy, Ranine. Méditation culturelle et jeune public au Liban: les 7 a 12 ans dans les centres d’art. 2013. (109 p.) Description bibliographique

They are both accessible at the library of the Arts and Humanities Faculty, which is open to all researchers.

This is a programme to watch; a number of Master’s theses are currently being written on other relevant topics!