See the Work of 15 Refugee Artists in Paris, Thanks to the New Nonprofit Agency for Artists in Exile
The French Culture Minister hosted the opening.
French Culture Minister Françoise Nyssen has signaled a strong show of support for refugees by inviting the Paris-based Agency for Artists in Exile to open a show of work by 15 refugee artists, on view through March 30. The exhibition, “Les vitrines de l’atelier des artistes en exiles” (“The windows of the studios of artists in exile”), opened at the Culture Ministry’s offices at the Palais Royal in late January.
The warm gesture of welcome comes as the French government tightens its borders, making asylum seeking less accessible for Europe’s incoming refugees. The fifteen exhibiting artists arrived in recent years to the French capital from Afghanistan, Iran, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, and Syria. They will now be exhibiting their works together for the first time in France.
“Culture in France knows no boundaries,” said Nyssen at the opening of the exhibition, challenging far right-wing figures like Marine LePen, who advocated during last year’s presidential elections for patrimoine, or traditional cultural heritage.
The agency’s dedicated space at 102 rue des Poissonniers hosts visual artists along with musicians, filmmakers, dancers, and poets. Since opening this past September, the studios have offered support to some 200 artists, but they still need a lot more assistance to provide what is needed, including equipment, art materials, and even food and housing.
France has always been a sanctuary for politically oppressed artists and poets, says Agency for Artists in Exile’s director Judith Depaule. Today’s refugees from Africa and the Middle East are just the most contemporary newcomers in a trend that has distinguished Paris’s art scene for at least a century.
“The windows of artists in exile” exhibits the work of Omar Ibrahim, Ibrahim Adam, Lina AL Jijakli, Mahmoud Halabi, Mohammad Hijazi,Mohamed Nour Wana, Mohamed Abakar, Mehdi Yarmohammadi, Hura Mirshekari, Kubra Khademi, Abdul Saboor, Mohamed Abdulatiev, Carlos Lutangu Wamba, Khaled Dawwa Clay & Knife, Muneim Rahama, and is on view at 5 rue de Valois until March 30.
To support the Agency for Artists in Exile, you can donate here.
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