The Beirut Exhibition Exploring Orientalism in Western Cinema

Challenging perceptions and stereotypes through art

byAmina Kaabi

In Western cinema, it’s common for Arabs to be typecast as terrorists. And when that’s not the case, we’re often seen through orientalist lenses, whereby Arab men are barbaric and violent and women are exoticized and fetishized. Beirut-based gallery Dar El-Nimer for Arts and Culture has decided to dig deeper into these perceptions in its latest exhibition, entitled Thief of Baghdad,

 

The gallery will be putting up a series of film posters, press clippings, and photographs on display, all of which were produced in the West and date back to the 1910s. 

 

From A Thousand and One NightsSinbad, and Cleopatra to Aladdin, you’ll get a look into the often problematic depictions of Arabs that has spanned decades. Curated by Abboudi Abou Jaoudé, the pieces on show come from his own personal collection. An avid collector, Abdou Jaoudé’s has amassed over 550 original film posters, including the ultra-rare White Rose dated 1933 by Mohammad Karim. 

 

Located in the heart of Beirut, Dar El-Nimr has made a name for itself as one of Lebanon’s key art institutions, tracing the region’s complex cultural heritage and challenging stereotypes through its exhibitions

 

As part of the show, Dar El-Nimr will also put a collection of film posters on display that were shot in Lebanon in the 1960s. 

 

Thief of Baghdad is on at Dar El-Nimer until May 25

Share this article