Director of Lebanon's Ashkal Alwan artist association
The central mission of Ashkal Alwan, the Lebanese artist association Tohmé founded 25 years ago, is ‘cultivating friendships and networks of solidarity’, the curator noted this year. The organisation’s 2,000sqm warehouse on the outskirts of Beirut now hosts two auditoriums, a library, editing suites, a coffee shop and artist studios. The association offers free schooling to between ten and fifteen artists each year on a curriculum devised by Tohmé alongside a committee of luminaries (currently Natascha Sadr Haghighian, Iman Issa, Joe Namy, Walid Raad and curator Zeynep Öz). To celebrate the association’s quarter century, Tohmé launched a video-art-streaming platform that features a rotating selection of works from its rich archive. Practising its stated commitment to ‘reimagining social relations’ and ‘designing alternative blueprints for society’, the association suspended programming for ten days in midOctober to support widening protests against the Lebanese government.