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Art, Revolution, and Exile: Mohammad Al Attar in Conversation with Lisa Wedeen

04.17.2024 05:00 PM

Event Summary

IMAGE: While I Was Waiting, written by Mohammad Al Attar, performed at the Lincoln Center, New York, 2017. Photo: Didier Nadeau.

In conversation with Lisa Wedeen, Mohammad Al Attar will discuss his creative practice and some of the questions he and other Syrian artists in exile grapple with as they reflect on their country’s recent past and imagine possible futures: What bargains do we make to stay safe? Whose memories count as the truth about the past, and how do revolutionary narratives get authorized? What would justice be for Syrians around the world having to deal with their sense of helplessness and abandonment? And what is the role of art in these urgent political, legal, and ethical discussions?

About the Artist

Mohammad Al Attar is a playwright, dramaturg, and author celebrated for his work chronicling war-torn Syria and the aftermaths of the 2011 uprisings. Plays such as Yesterday’s Encounter (2024), Damascus 2045 (2021), The Factory (2019), Aleppo: A Portrait of Absence (2017), and While I Was Waiting (2016) take place at the boundary between fiction and documentary. They have been staged at theaters and festivals around the world.

Born in Damascus and now living in Berlin, Al Attar is in Chicago this spring as a Neubauer Collegium Visiting Fellow, hosted by the Reimagining Cosmopolitanism project with the support of the Neubauer Collegium and 3CT. During his time here, aside from working on a new play, he will take an active part in the project’s research into what it means to be a citizen of the world today.

Presented by the Neubauer Collegium and the Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory (3CT), with support from the Pozen Family Center for Human Rights.

This event is free and open to the public, and registration is recommended.