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Rasha Salti and Kristine Khouri

Ezzedine Kalak and Palestine Liberation Organization officials at “International Art Exhibition for Palestine,” 1978, Beirut Arab University, March 21, 1978. Photo: Claude Lazar.

FOUNDED IN 2010 by Rasha Salti and Kristine Khouri, the Visual Arts Study Group is an initiative dedicated to the study of Arab modernism. One of the group’s first and most significant projects was research into the “International Art Exhibition for Palestine,” a show organized by the Palestinian Liberation Organization and held in Beirut in 1978, during the early years of the Lebanese Civil War. Here, Salti and Khouri talk to Rayya Badran about the results of their research, which are being presented in “Past Disquiet” at the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona through June 1.

RASHA SALTI: I learned about the “International Art Exhibition for Palestine” when I discovered its catalogue at Agial Art Gallery in Beirut while I was researching Palestinian poster art. This was around 1993 or 1994. It stuck in my mind, and when Kristine and I began formulating projects for the Visual

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