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Crossing Glances: Scriptures in doubt

From December 18, 2020 until January 15, 2021
Check dates, times and entry conditions for each activity

Two conferences, two workshops and an exhibition analyze issues of identity, representation and the collective imaginary in relation with the history of Arab communities in Spain. Registration has now begun.

Casa Árabe is collaborating on this participatory art project designed by Álvaro Albajez, a visual artist and curator who was awarded the Third Residence for Artists in Research and Education at the UNED. The project will try to promote a meeting among the Arab communities of Madrid and Barcelona with other groups and artists interested in reflection and dialogue on their shared literary and visual heritage, in order to create new representations for an inclusive collective imaginary.

The project has two purposes: on the one hand, it attempts to relate the research and art practices of those currently working on identity, otherness and memory (in this case, as relates to the Arab community) by disseminating and connecting their theoretical and artistic production; and on the other hand, it aims to give a voice to the people who currently make up these communities, as they are the ones who create their own representations and reinterpretations, expanding and deconstructing the collective imaginary.

The reflection process is based on ongoing research at the UNED, “Before Orientalism:  ‘Images’ of Muslims on the Iberian Peninsula (fifteenth to seventeenth centuries) and their Mediterranean connections” conducted by Borja Franco Llopis, the group’s principal researcher. The reflection on the theoretical level will be accompanied by two workshops of artistic practice taking place on two days. The first of the two days in which the project is divided, US (OTHERS), attempts to take an introspective look at our social diversity and its representation in the historical-artistic heritage, while the second, YOU (OTHERS), proposes reflection upon otherness, its representation and the resulting configuration of social stereotypes, confronting the points of view of those who look at and interpret otherness and those who are observed and represented. The results of these workshops will be put on display at a Casa Árabe exhibition as of February 4. Detailed information on the activities:

Event day: WE (OTHERS)
Date: January 8
Location: Lavapiés UNED Center (Escuelas Pías)
6:00 to 7:00 p.m.     Conference: Otherness, Art and Identity, by Borja Franco Llopis, the group’s principal researcher and the author of the book “Pintando al Converso.”
7:00 to 9:00 p.m.     Collective workshop on sculptural portraiture, given by Assilah/Soraya/Cuentos Rosales, a visual artist and performer of Moroccan origin living in the Lavapiés neighborhood  who will be in charge of directing the process of self-portraiture and bodily expression.

Event day: YOU (OTHERS)
Date: January 15
Location: Nou Barris Associated UNED Center (Barcelona)
6:00 to 7:00 p.m.    Conference Images of Islam in literature and art: from the fifteenth century to Society 2.0. By Jose María Perceval, researcher at the Department of Journalism and Communication Sciences at the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona and a specialist on cultural and intercultural communication and the analysis of racism in communication.

7:00 to 9:00 p.m.     Workshop on Literature Self-fiction, given by David Huertas (Mr. Perfumme), a visual artist, singer and writer of works such as Saber Matar (Knowing How to Kill) and Transirak.He will be conducting the process to reinterpret the images and texts analyzed in the conference.

Participation in this conference is free of charge. Those who wish to do so should register by sending an email to

Date: From February 4 to March 7, 2021
Location: Casa Árabe (c/ Alcalá 62, Madrid)
The works resulting from these workshops, as well as the process itself, will be shown at an exhibition in Casa Árabe’s Hall of Columns. The presentation is scheduled for February 4 and can be visited at the center throughout the month.

For all those who want to get involved in the process, you can do so via email or through the Instagram account @MiradasCruzadasarte
Crossing Glances: Scriptures in doubt