Celebrate the opening of the art exhibition “Visual Reactions: A View from the Middle East,” with artist Mohammad Sharaf at the FedEx Global Education Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Thursday, Aug. 28 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. A free public reception will be followed by remarks and a discussion with Mohammad Sharaf.
The exhibit features illustrations by Kuwaiti artist and graphic designer Mohammad Sharaf. Inspired by current events, Sharaf’s designs address controversial political and social topics. Carl Ernst, Kenan Distinguished Professor of Islamic studies at the Department of Religious Studies and director of the Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations, will provide opening remarks. Nadia Yaqub, chair of the Department of Asian Studies, will moderate a question and answer session after the keynote presentation by Mohammad Sharaf.
Sharaf utilizes simple backgrounds and a purposefully limited color range, most often black, white and red, and conveys a sense of Middle Eastern humor and satire. “The work I do delivers the message that there are people in the Middle East who are not happy with what is happening,” explains Sharaf, who says his visual style is inspired in part by Russian poster artists who brought art and social activism into the public sphere. Sharaf’s work transcends the traditional public sphere and has spread via social media.
The exhibition, featuring more than 20 posters, touches on topics ranging from women’s rights to the multiple iterations of the Arab Spring in the Middle East. “Visual Reactions: A View from the Middle East” will run from Aug. 19 to Oct. 31 at the UNC FedEx Global Education Center, 301 Pittsboro Street, Chapel Hill.
This exhibition is hosted by the Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations, the Center for Global Initiatives, the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies and Global Relations with support from the Department of Asian Studies.