By The Africa Institute

May 19, 2022

Representatives from New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), a research university with fully integrated liberal arts and science college based in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, visited the Africa Institute for an educational excursion on 19th May 2022.

The visit enabled an interactive exchange with NYUAD visiting professors, research fellows and guests who were keen to learn more about the role and work of the Africa Institute while also paving the way for future research collaboration between the academic institutions.

Salah Hassan, Director, The Africa Institute welcomed the visitors and opened the session with a detailed presentation about the history, recent projects and future of the Institute.

Anneka Lenssen, Associate Professor of Global Modern Art at the University of California, Berkeley and a current Senior Fellow at the NYUAD Humanities Research Fellowship for the Study of the Arab World and board member for al Mawrid Arab Center for the Study of Art, who was the lead facilitator of the visit shared, “This has been an incomparable gathering! It is hard to imagine such an exciting meeting taking place anywhere else. We left with a new understanding of the transformative mission of The Africa Institute as a hub for postgraduate studies in African and African diaspora studies, a resource, and a visionary actor in the art world.”

“Our visit to The Africa Institute as a final session in our workshop, “Go East, Young Artists: Creative Practice across the Middle East, North Africa, and Eastern Bloc, 1950s-1980s,” allowed us to meet scholar colleagues who are leading the way to new models of interdisciplinary academic research,” said Anneka.

Given that the group is currently conducting research on the history of exchanges across different ‘eastern’ territories and territorial imaginations in the Cold War decades, our faculty presented their research, which acted as a platform for dialogue. The works shared were Salah Hassan’s continuous research on the “Khartoum School: The Making of the Modern Art Movement in Sudan (1945 – Present); followed by a presentation by Elizabeth W. Giorgis, Associate Professor of Art History, Theory and Criticism on ‘Ethiopian modernism and the link between the Derg period and the Soviet Union’.

Anneka added that “the presentations by Director Salah Hassan and Professor Elizabeth Giorgis highlighted some mutual questions about modalities of cultural exchange (past, present, future) while expanding our frames of reference for thinking about power, patronage, and survival.” 

The research group participants consisted of research fellows and professors: Przemysław Strożek, a curator at the Archiv der Avantgarden, Dresden and Assistant Professor at the Institute of Art of the Polish Academy of Sciences; Sara Lagnaoui, an archivist at the Dresden State Art Collections; Anthony Gardner, a Professor of Contemporary Art History at the University of Oxford, Masha Kirasirova, an Assistant Professor of History at New York University Abu Dhabi; Anahi Alviso-Marino, a specialist in the political sociology of visual arts in the Arabian Peninsula and Ala Younis, an artist with curatorial, film, and publishing projects as well as NYUAD undergraduate students.

Their visit concluded with a lunch at the Africa Hall and a tour of Sharjah Art Foundations’ Spring exhibitions.

The Africa Institute’s outreach efforts are oriented toward shared programming and collaborations with such programs across diverse topics in African history and the African diaspora that contribute to the Africa Institute’s mission and developing research.

Representatives from New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), a research university with fully integrated liberal arts and science college based in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, visited the Africa Institute for an educational excursion on 19th May 2022.

Representatives from New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), a research university with fully integrated liberal arts and science college based in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, visited the Africa Institute for an educational excursion on 19th May 2022.

The visit enabled an interactive exchange with NYUAD visiting professors, research fellows and guests who were keen to learn more about the role and work of the Africa Institute while also paving the way for future research collaboration between the academic institutions.

Salah Hassan, Director, The Africa Institute welcomed the visitors and opened the session with a detailed presentation about the history, recent projects and future of the Institute.

Anneka Lenssen, Associate Professor of Global Modern Art at the University of California, Berkeley and a current Senior Fellow at the NYUAD Humanities Research Fellowship for the Study of the Arab World and board member for al Mawrid Arab Center for the Study of Art, who was the lead facilitator of the visit shared, “This has been an incomparable gathering! It is hard to imagine such an exciting meeting taking place anywhere else. We left with a new understanding of the transformative mission of The Africa Institute as a hub for postgraduate studies in African and African diaspora studies, a resource, and a visionary actor in the art world.”

“Our visit to The Africa Institute as a final session in our workshop, “Go East, Young Artists: Creative Practice across the Middle East, North Africa, and Eastern Bloc, 1950s-1980s,” allowed us to meet scholar colleagues who are leading the way to new models of interdisciplinary academic research,” said Anneka.

Given that the group is currently conducting research on the history of exchanges across different ‘eastern’ territories and territorial imaginations in the Cold War decades, our faculty presented their research, which acted as a platform for dialogue. The works shared were Salah Hassan’s continuous research on the “Khartoum School: The Making of the Modern Art Movement in Sudan (1945 – Present); followed by a presentation by Elizabeth W. Giorgis, Associate Professor of Art History, Theory and Criticism on ‘Ethiopian modernism and the link between the Derg period and the Soviet Union’.

Anneka added that “the presentations by Director Salah Hassan and Professor Elizabeth Giorgis highlighted some mutual questions about modalities of cultural exchange (past, present, future) while expanding our frames of reference for thinking about power, patronage, and survival.” 

The research group participants consisted of research fellows and professors: Przemysław Strożek, a curator at the Archiv der Avantgarden, Dresden and Assistant Professor at the Institute of Art of the Polish Academy of Sciences; Sara Lagnaoui, an archivist at the Dresden State Art Collections; Anthony Gardner, a Professor of Contemporary Art History at the University of Oxford, Masha Kirasirova, an Assistant Professor of History at New York University Abu Dhabi; Anahi Alviso-Marino, a specialist in the political sociology of visual arts in the Arabian Peninsula and Ala Younis, an artist with curatorial, film, and publishing projects as well as NYUAD undergraduate students.

Their visit concluded with a lunch at the Africa Hall and a tour of Sharjah Art Foundations’ Spring exhibitions.

The Africa Institute’s outreach efforts are oriented toward shared programming and collaborations with such programs across diverse topics in African history and the African diaspora that contribute to the Africa Institute’s mission and developing research.

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