On Entering the Garden
14 / 8 / 2023

August 31 - September 2, 2023
At the Café Culturel la Scène and Cinéma Renaissance
Rabat, Morocco

The Arab Culture Fund for Arts and Culture - AFAC is excited to announce its upcoming conference, On Entering the Garden, that will take place between August 31 and September 2, 2023, in Rabat, Morocco.

On Entering the Garden offers a space to question and examine concepts of knowledge production and community formation in the Arab region and its diaspora in times of loss and environmental collapse.

The notions of art and culture that we have today could be traced back to the 19th-century Nahda or the Arab intellectual and cultural renaissance that draws a strong connection with the concept of the “garden” whether in the choice of the titles of Nahda journals and newspapers like al-Jinan (The Gardens), al-Junaina (The Little Garden), and Hadiqat al-Akhbar (The News Garden); or in the conceptualizations of a community that had to contend with great challenges from the fall of empires, the rise of new technologies, and the advent of colonialism. Revisiting them today by entering the garden is necessary to assess our current condition and reflect on our future prospects.

On Entering the Garden is curated by Tarek El-Ariss and Rasha Salti, and has the participation of Rim Battal, Adnane Baraka, Hoda Barakat, Hicham Bouzid, Rana Elnemr, Myriam El Haïk, Driss Ksikes, Souad Labbize, Farouk Mardam-Bey, Salim Mrad, Yasmina Naji, Stefania Pandolfo, Grégory Quenet, Peter Limbrick, Zahia Rahmani, Hamed Sinno, Abdellah Taïa, and Youssef El Tekhin.

By bringing together these interlocutors, the conference hopes to address and unpack a range of questions: What is the Arab garden of knowledge and culture in the age of the Anthropocene? What new discourses on sustainability, the environment, and diversity does the garden generate? What new modes of sensing and imagining emerge on entering the garden?

On Entering the Garden is organized by the Arab Culture Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC), in collaboration with Kulte Center for Contemporary Art & Editions and in partnership with the HIBA Foundation.

On Entering the Garden is the second installment of AFAC’s 15th anniversary celebration that launched in Berlin in January 2023 with Cultures of Scandal where we reflected on the shaming and exposure practices at the heart of the surge in crises around cultural events in the region.