What influence does gender have on art production in nowadays Southwestern Asia (Middle East)? Does gender embody everyday life experiences, including the artistic experience? Are gendered spaces of the region Orientalized, demystified, or both? Are bodies, especially women bodies, described asexualized, passive and silent? Do local authors and artists living in diaspora reproduce totalizing or essentialist tendencies? Are power relations between the former colonizers and colonized uncovered? Has the aftermath of the so-called Arab Spring given women a greater voice and are more individuals willing to talk about gender openly? Is the view that assumes that women in Southwestern Asia are oppressed and left out of cultural debates a misconception?
In her anthology Reeds from Red Lips, Pamela Chrabieh explores these questions through stories told from a wide spectrum of voices, all from authors and artists who dream of peacebuilding, human rights, and women’s rights in Southwestern Asia. Stories are told through poetry and prose in English, French, Modern Standard Arabic and Lebanese, and through a selection of conceptual photography artworks, digital visuals, cartoons and paintings.
Featured Authors and Artists: Dr. Pamela Chrabieh | Norah Al Nimer | Katia Aoun Hage | Malak El Gohary | Amal Chehayeb | Lana AlBeik | Dr. Frank Darwiche | Noor Husain | Joelle Sfeir | Maram El Hendy | Dr. Omar Sabbagh | Karma Bou Saab | Farah Nasser | Haeley Ahn | Masooma Rana | Sandra Malki | Maya Khadra | Nour Zahi Al-Hassanieh
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Pamela Chrabieh is Lebanese and Canadian Dr. in Sciences of Religions and Associate Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the American University in Dubai. She is also the author of several academic and non-fiction publications on gender, women’s rights, arts in Southwestern Asia (Middle East), religions, peacebuilding and war memory. Artist-Painter who exhibited in Lebanon, Canada and the UAE, activist and founder of the Red Lips High Heels’ online platform, gathering more than 150 authors and artists who express their views on women’s rights and feminism issues. She has published in English, French and Modern Standard Arabic.