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'View from Inside' highlights 49 Arab artists

FotoFest International kicked off its 2014 Biennial in Houston on March 15, showcasing the works of 49 contemporary Arab artists and photographers.

Over the weekend in Houston, FotoFest International kicked off its 2014 Biennial, View from Inside, a contemporary photo and media-related art exhibition that features 49 contemporary Arab artists from 13 countries.

The diverse pieces present a vast range of themes “not unfamiliar in the West or the rest of the world,” the lead curator for the Biennial, Karin Adrian von Roques, told Al-Monitor. “What differentiates the works is the particular ways in which individual Arab artists address the concerns and issues of their own cultures.” In an interview with Al-Monitor, FotoFest cofounder and senior curator Wendy Watriss said of the Biennial’s focus, “US and Western audiences should have the opportunity to hear from more voices in the region and see the Arab world in more nuanced ways.” For some of the artists, this will be the first time their work is shown in the United States.

Other events during the Biennial include a daylong conference on Contemporary Visual Art from the Arab World at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (for free tickets, register here), a forum on “Arabophobia,” held in conjunction with Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and Humanities Research Center (free, no registration needed), programs and events for students, and more.

The event runs through April 27, 2014.