NERO: Arab Futurism

Utopia, distopia and science-fiction from Egypt to the Arabic Gulf


14th September | from 9pm
La Pelanda – Outdoor Area

9:00 pm Presentation of The Queue di Basma Abdel Aziz in conversation with Sophia Al Maria, Donatella Della Ratta, Giulia Crispiani
11:00 pm DANI + PALM WINE  (dj set) + electro-chaabi sound by Not (vedi Controra)

While racism and islamophobia  are spreading in Europe, over the last years a new generation of Arab artists  has started to redefine the possible destinies of the areas South of the Mediterranean. Among them is Egyptian writer Basma Abdel Aziz with her novel The Queue, a masterwork of dystopian fiction where influences by Orwell and contemporary weird fiction produce a vision of Cairo between parallel reality and topical brutality.

The forthcoming Italian translation of The Queue for NERO in the Not series (due in September 2018) is the starting point for a debate about the Arab world and its possible futures, and about political economic and gender issues confronted by the Middle East, a reality as close to us as neglected and misunderstood.

The conversation will be held by artist and writer Sophia Al-Maria, creator of the concept of Gulf Futurism (an art movement that reworks ultra-capitalist fantasies about such places as Qatar and Arab Emirates), Italian researcher specialized in Arab-speaking media Donatella Della Ratta and artist Giulia Crispiani who works on sci-fi and feminist themes.

Starting from 2018 Not is the Italian book series curated by NERO, a publishing house that from 2004 operates within the world of international art. Philosophy, science-fiction, pop culture, political criticism, art: the books published by Not explore current stories and upcoming imaginary, in order to present to the Italian readers themes, narrations, and languages that are at the heart of the contemporary landscape.

photo Sophia Al Maria, Black Friday, installation, 2015-2016