Nadir Bouhmouch, Against Monoculture: Art and Food from Below

Tuesday, September 15, 2020, 7 - 8:30pm

Add to Calendar

Nadir Bouhmouch. Photo by Ziryab Ben Brahem.

Nadir Bouhmouch. Photo by Ziryab Ben Brahem.

Nadir Bouhmouch delivers an online free, public lecture about monoculture as part of the Fall 2020 Intra-Disciplinary Seminar series. If we destroy a forest, we destroy the poetry about it. If we destroy the poetry about it, we destroy the forest. Today, capitalism and the state have destroyed biodiversity. But could the same be said of artistic "biodiversity" and local cultural "eco-systems"?  What are the limits of conceptual frameworks like “cultural imperialism” or “gharbzadegi”? Could liberal “universalism” and “globalisation from above” represent a push towards a global artistic “monoculture"? Why do films from France, Argentina, and Tunisia look increasingly similar? Could we see art in the same way that food sovereignty advocates see the loss of seeds and local agricultural knowledge adapted to specific ecosystems?

Registration required.

Nadir Bouhmouch is a filmmaker, writer, and co-founder of the AWAL oral and popular arts program in Marrakech. Nadir’s filmic works include My Makhzen & Me (2012), a web documentary about Morocco’s February 20th uprising, Timnadin N Rif, and Paradises of the Earth. Produced collectively by the community of Imider, his latest film, Amussu, had its premiere at HotDocs and the International Documentary Festival of Amsterdam. Nadir has also published various articles and essays, including "Before the 'End of the World:' Art and Ideology in Bled Siba," "The Rif and the Moroccan State’s Economic Pressure Cooker” and “Morocco: Green for the Rich, Grey for the Poor.”

The IDS public lecture series is part of the Robert Lehman Visiting Artist Program at The Cooper Union. We are grateful for major funding from the Robert Lehman Foundation. The IDS public lecture series is also made possible by generous support from the Open Society Foundations.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.