THE PERFECT ARAB ARTIST @ Arab Cartoon Festival DE WARANDE - LUIFELZAAL Belgium / by Sirine Fattouh

From October 6 till 21 the second edition of Arab Cartoon Festival will again present a multidisciplinary program that outsteps the borders of the visual arts, and focuses on ‘cartoons’, not only in form, but also in spirit or tactics. 

The second edition revolves around the theme of ‘Cracks in the society’. It basically focuses both on cracks between Arab and western societies (including the EU) and cracks within those diverse societies. Several cultural and political situations and circumstances created small and larger ‘cracks’ between and within societies. Mainstream media are stimulating populist speech that incites hate, and put the spotlights on actions that ‘crack’ societies into small(er) segments (divisions) which are – so it seems – on the verge of clashing. All this, makes us forget how we could be more connected and less scared of each other. The festival looks into different ways of (re)connecting through the arts. Cartoons deliver ways to critically rethink what alternative circumstances are needed to bridge the differences between ‘us’ and ‘them’.

On display are two original series of personalized national and international postage stamps that Fattouh produced in 2014. One of the countries is Belgium.
The Perfect Arab Artist, as an art installation, critically deals with what is expected of an Arab artist. As such it also refers to the image(s) that Arab artists distribute of themselves in order to answer to an existing demand in the art market. Sirine Fattouh is a Lebanese artist born in 1980 and living between Paris and Beirut. Her work, as an artist and researcher, consists of examining the consequences of violence and displacements on people’s identities.