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PRINT October 2006

Christine Tohme

I DON’T THINK WE’VE EVER lived through a postwar period. There is no “postwar” in Lebanon, only pauses. I don’t think artists have reached a notion of time and space where they can get past the civil war.

There was the outbreak of the civil war in 1975, the Israeli invasion in 1982, and then the “Grapes of Wrath” campaign in 1996. The effects of this ongoing state of conflict are seen in the history of Ashkal Alwan, the nonprofit arts organization I direct, and in its projects. The Home Works Forum on Cultural Practices—a conference with performances and exhibitions attended by artists, curators, critics, and gallerists from around the world—has taken place three times and has been postponed on each occasion. The first time, in 2001, it was postponed because of the outbreak of the second intifada; in 2003 because of the war in Iraq; and in 2005 because of the assassination of Lebanon’s

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