Friday Finds: ‘Dispatches from the Black Gulf by Momtaza Mehri’

For The Poetry Society, Momtaza Mehri writes on Black Arab history, exile, and the production and housing of Arab art:

From the short essay, “Dispatches from the Black Gulf“:

I first visited Doha two years ago. Admittedly, I spent most of my time traipsing around cash-flush galleries and architectural landmarks. My visit to Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, was the first time I encountered the works of the Khartoum School outside a European or North American context. It’s hard to maintain critical aloofness when confronted with a Sliman Mansour painting or Inji Efflatoun’s Portrait of a Prisoner series. I remember a lithograph of Dia Azzawi’s We Are Not Seen, But, Corpses (The Massacre of Sabra and Shatila) stopping me in my tracks. Housed here, these works were a lot closer to where they had been conceived and created than in London, New York or Berlin. Unlike the fate of their creators, theirs was a more survivable kind of exile. At least that’s what I kept telling myself.

Read it all on The Poetry Society website.