Right-to-Left: Arab and Iranian visual cultures spotlighted in Berlin exhibition

By Ahram Online

Egyptian visual and graffiti artist Ganzeer participates in the poster exhibition in a Berlin gallery, alongside Arab and Iranian artists and designers

The exhibition entitled Right-to-Left now showing in Berlin addresses the changes in Middle Eastern visual culture and society. Featuring 15 artists and graphic designers, the show presents experimental typography, street art and graffiti by up-and-coming artists from the Arab world and Iran and further provides a glimpse into the maturing and modern trends of Arabic and Persian script.
The title, Right-to-Left refers to the direction that Arabic and Persian is written in, which contrasts with Latin-based alphabets, which are written left-to-right. The exhibition maps the contemporary trends of Arabic and Persian script that have evolved from calligraphy to modern-day innovations facilitated by digital software and experimentation by young artists.
The project curators believe that the modernisation of Arabic and Persian script is a revolution that preceded the Arab Spring. The skilled artists that speak the modern technological language were able to navigate electronic software and contemporary design practices to convey Arab revolutions through graphics and illustrations online and on walls across rebellious cities. The designs showcased, then, in Berlin overflow with references of the current political transformations in the Arab world.
“Some of the new posters carry references to the current revolutions and upheavals in the Middle East; some interpret the topic in a literal sense, referring to the writing direction of the Arabic and Persian script and to the latest typographic bilingual experiments; others include inserts of poetry and calligraphy and speak a metaphorical language, full of references and hints to be discovered,” reads the press release.
Egyptian multimedia artist Ganzeer will discuss how visual languages have affected protests in the Arab Spring in a seminar entitled Street Art and Political Protest Culture on Wednesday, 15 November.
Other artists participating in Right-to-Left include; Aria Kasaei, Diana Hawatmeh, Eps51, Farhad Fozouni, File Club, Homa Delvaray, Iman Raad, Kareem Lotfi, Maziyar Pahlevan, Mouneer El Shaaran, Peyman Pourhosein, Reza Abedini, Shahrzad Changalvaee and Wissam Shawkat.
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