Intersecting views on ‘contemporary Arab art’

The Team

  • Marion Slitine +



    Marion Slitine is an anthropologist and Temporary Teaching and Research Attaché at EHESS (IRIS), where she is responsible for a seminar on the anthropology of contemporary art in the Middle East. Her work follows up on the field research she has been conducting in Palestine, and overlaps with her interest in the art worlds of other Arab countries, in order to question the issues around artistic circulations and engagement in the MENA region.

  • Youness Atbane +



    Youness Atbane is a visual artist and performer who lives between Morocco and Germany. His multidisciplinary practice is based on a critique of the field of contemporary art, its actors, and its geopolitics. His artistic approach is developed around performing arts, installation, photography, and drawing, while bringing together performative and narrative practices that intend to deconstruct issues related to contemporary art in the MENA region in an unprecedented way.

© Youness Atbane, Horizontalisme, 2019

The project

This project explores the construction of "contemporary Arab art" as an object of study and the artistic circulations between the Middle East and the Maghreb, starting from the Palestinian (Ramallah) and Moroccan (Marrakech) cases. It questions the effect of artistic migrations on the forms of engagement of the actors, in relation to the revolutionary moments they are going through and the inclusion of these artistic practices in the public space. And, beyond questioning the tensions between politics and the market that underlie these art worlds, this research-creation will offer a critical perspective on the relevance of the definition of "contemporary Arab art". It will give rise to a multifaceted artistic work—a "performed ethnography"—, while questioning the contribution of methodological crossovers between artistic and ethnographic writing, to study the behind-the-scenes of contemporary art in the MENA region.

© Youness Atbane, "Composed Extremism" (series) 2018
© Majd Abdelhamid, "Pain Killers", 2010


Marion Slitine, winner of the 2020 Thesis Prize from the Musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac for her thesis "La Palestine en créations. La fabrique de l'art contemporain, des territoires occupés aux espaces mondialisés" (Palestine in creations. The factory of contemporary art, from occupied territories to globalized spaces). Learn more.