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Bahia Shehab: 'At the Corner of a Dream'



Exhibition Type:

How many artists: 
Friday, 27 September 2019 to Sunday, 5 January 2020
Friday, 27 September 2019 - 10:00am

Exhibition dates: 27 September 2019 – 5 January 2020


The Aga Khan Centre Gallery is delighted to announce it will launch its new exhibition space with At the Corner of a Dream, a solo presentation by the Lebanese-Egyptian artist Bahia Shehab.

The show — her first solo show in the UK — is comprised of five digital artworks produced by the artist in 2019 about the poetry murals she has painted in four different cities: Cairo, New York, Beirut and Marrakesh, as well as the Greek island of Cephalonia. These have been inspired by the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish (1941-2008) — the show’s title is a line from one of his poems.

Commissioned by the Aga Khan University Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations (AKU-ISMC), the exhibition marks the publication of a book highlighting Shehab’s poetry-based work published by Gingko Press in association with AKU-ISMC. The exhibition also follows the unveiling of a major 30-metre mural called We Will Not Repent, created for Lincoln University in August 2019.

Shehab began to paint poetry by Darwish on the walls of different cities in new and original forms of the Arabic script after the Egyptian uprising. She uses lines from his poetry to tell the world that ideas cannot be killed, to show that humankind is united in its struggle against oppression and dictatorship.

In the featured films, each location corresponds to sites where Shehab created a mural. Shehab views her walls as meeting points and conversation starters. By raising the curiosity of passers-by, they serve as cultural bridges, prompting them to ask about the stories behind the writing and encouraging them to stop and ask how they can tackle injustice in their own country, or how they can work for equality and help others live in a better world.


Artist ( Description ): 

poetic and stimulating as she encourages us to think about the lives of others, whilst considering our own.’ Adds Kaya: ‘The Aga Khan Centre Gallery is a place of education, insight and cultural exchange. It is home to a changing programme of exhibitions which aim to create a better understanding of Islam and Muslim cultures past and present. The gallery programme will significantly contribute to the cultural offer across the city of London as well as nationally and internationally. Bahia Shehab’s work forms the inaugural exhibition, so we hope to welcome many visitors to our exciting new gallery

Carla von der Becke,

t: +44 (0) 20 7278 3029; m: + 44 (0) 79 74 25 29 94

Bahia Shehab is a multidisciplinary artist, designer and art historian. Her work is concerned with identity and preserving cultural heritage. Through investigating Islamic art history she reinterprets contemporary Arab politics, feminist discourse and social issues. She is Professor of Design and founder of the graphic design program at The American University in Cairo where she has developed a full design curriculum mainly focused on visual culture of the Arab world. She has taught over fourteen courses on the topic. She frequently lectures internationally on Arab visual culture and design education, peaceful protest, and Islamic cultural heritage. Her artwork has been on display in exhibitions, galleries and streets in Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Morocco, Norway, Portugal, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, UAE and the US (NY, Madison and Hawaii). Her TED talk “A Thousand Times NO” has received over 1 million views. The documentary Nefertiti’s Daughters featuring her street artwork during the Egyptian uprising was released in 2015. Her work has received a number of international recognitions and awards which include a BBC 100 Women list (2013), Shortlist for V&A’s Jameel Prize 4 (2016), TED Senior fellowship (2016), and a Prince Claus Award (2016). She is the first Arab woman to receive the UNESCO-Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture (2016). Her publications include “A Thousand Times NO: The Visual History of Lam-Alif” (Khatt, 2010) and “At the Corner of a Dream” (Gingko, 2019).

Venue ( Address ): 

10 Handyside Street, 

London N1C 4DN

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