In Conversation With : Bahia Shehab Part 2
Author Daf Beirut
Bahia Shehab – Professor and founder of the graphic design program at the American University in Cairo
A series of in depth interviews with Arthur Debsi, writer and researcher at Dalloul Art Foundation where he discusses various subjects with professionals in the Arab world.
Part 2. ‘Culture is soft power’ states Bahia Shehab. In the second part of the conversation, the co-author of A History of Arab Graphic Design published in 2020, talks about the importance for local powers hosting big cultural events, taking the two examples of the Alexandria Biennale first held in 1955 under the auspices of President Gamal Abdel Nasser (1918-1970) and Baalbek International Festival in summer 1956. These world-known events would promote the cultural and artistic activities of the country but also celebrate the nation itself. In the post-colonial context of the 20th century, the Arab world turned into a strong geo-political pole, able to stand against the injustice from which some of its population was suffering, especially through the Palestinian cause. Shehab also explains the challenges that the region is still facing in the promotion and making culture accessible to the local audiences.
Video recorded on Zoom by Arthur Debsi
Edited by Christine Labban