Aspiring visual artists and filmmakers in Qatar can mark their calendars for an exciting learning experience with renowned Lebanese artist and film producer Akram Zaatari. 

Zaatari, the next presenter in the Wavelength Lecture series this Tuesday, 26 January, is referred to by UK’s The Guardian newspaper as ‘one of the foremost artists still living in the Arab region’.


The lecture is a collaboration between Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar (VCUarts Qatar), Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Contemporary Art. Zaatari will discuss his major works in the last fifteen years, addressing some of the crucial questions on his approach to video, photography and the politics of documentary representation.

28 Nights by Akram Zaatari
28 Nights by Akram Zaatari

Zaatari and his film, Letter to a Refusing Pilot, represented Lebanon at the prestigious Venice Biennial in 2013. Some of his more recent solo exhibitions include The Script (Modern Art Oxford); Photographic Currency (La Vitrine, Beirut Art Residency); Akram Zaatari (Turner Contemporary in Kent, UK); Against Photography. An annotated history of the Arab Image Foundation (National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul); and Letter to a Refusing Pilot (Modern Museet, Malmö). His creative productions have found places of prominence in various locations in Europe and the US.

Closer to home, the Lebanese artist is the co-founder of the Arab Image Foundation and has played a crucial role in developing the formal, intellectual and institutional facets of Beirut’s contemporary art scene. He also made invaluable contributions to various discussions focused on preservation and archival practice.

Middle East Politics

Zaatari’s works reflect the evolving political dynamics in the Middle East. Having produced more than fifty films and videos, he has explored themes as diverse and controversial as writing histories, excavations, political events, the lives of former militants, the circulation of images in times of war, and the stories of various letters that have been lost, found, buried, discovered, or otherwise delayed in reaching their destinations. As a researcher of photographic practices in the Middle East, the Lebanese artist also examined how photography shapes public perceptions.

The lecture will be moderated by Noah Simblist, Associate Professor and Chair of Painting + Printmaking, at Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts, Richmond.

Wavelength is an online series that invites celebrated artists, designers, curators and scholars in different art and design fields from across the world, to share their work with the VCU communities in Richmond and Doha as well as the general public.

Visit the VCU website for more information. For a list of online talks, lectures and webinars hosted by various institutions in Qatar, check out the Marhaba Calendar

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