Middle Eastern collection at the British Museum
A major collection of contemporary photography focussing on the Middle East, supported by the UK Art Fund, is being exhibited for the public at the British Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum in
In development since 2009, the Art Fund Collection of Middle Eastern Photography at the British Museum and the V&A, was built in response to a surge of interest in the visual arts in the region, beginning to remedy the under-representation of Middle Eastern photography in UK collections. The photographs respond to the social challenges and political upheavals of the Middle East over the last 30 years, including recent photographs created in reaction to the Arab Spring in 2011.
More than 80 works, mainly produced in the last 10 years by 22 emerging and established artists living in the region or in diaspora – form the collection to date, which has been jointly researched and collected by the two museums. The collection, which is still in development, has been funded with £150,000 of support from the Art Fund.
Most of the collection will be showcased in the major exhibition, Light from the Middle East: New Photography at the V&A from November 13 2012 – April 7 2013.
This will be the first significant UK museum exhibition of contemporary photography from and about the Middle East, spanning North Africa to Central Asia.
The exhibition will include internationally established practitioners such as Abbas, Youssef Nabil and Walid Raad alongside emerging talents such as Taysir Batniji, Shadi Ghadirian and Abdulnasser Gharem.