Carlos Lutangu stands with his sculpture Le Penseur at the Culture Ministry in Paris. Photo by MC/Thibault Chapotot, courtesy of Agency for Artists in Exile.

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.

Please share this story to help make positive knowledge grow.

The exhibition, “Les vitrines de l’atelier des artistes en exiles” (“The windows of the studios of artists in exile”), opened at the 18th arrondissement studios of Agency for Artists in Exile, a new grassroots initiative, which offers workshops, studios, materials, and networking opportunities for asylum seekers with artistic practices.

Culture Minister Françoise Nyssen with exhibiting artists and Agency for Artists in Exile’s organizers, Judith Depaule and Ariel Cypel. Photo by MC / Thibaut Chapotot, courtesy of Agency for Artists in Exile.

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.

Khaled Dawwa. Photo by MC/Thibaut_Chapotot, courtesy of Agency of Artists in Exile.

“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 October, 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.

Recherche de liberté by Mehdi Yarmohammadi. Photo by MC/Thibault Chapotot, courtesy of Agency for Artists in Exile.

France has always been a sanctuary for politically oppressed artists and poets, says Agency for Artists in Exile’s director Judith Dupaule. 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.

Lina Aljijakli. Photo by MC/Thibault Chapotot, courtesy of Agency for Artists in Exile.

Detail of Le Penseur by Carlos Lutangu, at his studio at the Agency for Artists in Exile. Photo by Dayun Ryu, courtesy of Agency for Artists in Exile.

Mohamed Abakar in front of his work Réfugiés à découvert (Refugees in the open). Photo by MC/Thibault Chapotot, courtesy of Agency for Artists in Exile.

Omar Ibrahim. Photo by MC/Thibault Chapotot, courtesy of Agency for Artists in Exile.

Mahmoud Halabi’s works in process at the Paris studios of the Agency for Artists in Exile. Photo by MC/Thibault Chapotot, courtesy of Agency for Artists in Exile.

SOURCE: ARTNET NEWS

0