Naima Morelli

Archive
Libya

My article about female/feminist literature in Libya was published – in its Dutch translation – on the 214 December issue of the magazine 360.

Here is the link to the piece online

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Two Libyan women walk past graffiti depicting Muammar Gaddafi

My first article for Al Jazeera has just been published. It’s called “The writers retelling Libya’s history through a feminist lens” and tells how Libya’s women novelists (but not exclusively them) are reframing the country’s stories in a post-Gaddafi era.

I worked on it for a long time, and it was very satisfying to get to write a longform piece with a bit more of a narrative style. Also, I got to know this county a little deeper, not just through its visual art but also through literature. For the piece I have interviewed, among others, writers Kawther Eljehmi, Maryem Salama, Manuela Piemonte Mahbuba Khalifa, and Mariza d’Anna, and publisher Ghassan Fergiani.

Here is the link to the piece

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Al-Monitor has just published my interview with Libyan photographer and photojournalist Nada Harib. Her work is all about hope in the face of adversity and beauty in the midst of pain.

With her photographs widely exhibited in and outside Libya, from the Institut du Monde Arabe in France to the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam, Harib’s work tells stories that have been forgotten or repressed during her country’s many turbulent phases. 

It’s another step for me and Al-Monitor’s readers to learn more about the culture and humanity of Libya, beyond the news reports.

Here is the link to the interview

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In the show “I am Libya”, painter Shefa Salem presents outstanding canvases, demonstrating that the public is eager to learn about the ancient history of Libya

What does it mean to be Libyan? How to reconstruct a sense of belonging for the country and its people, starting from the deepest roots of Libyan culture, while preserving diversity?

These are the questions that artist, Shefa Salem, is grappling with for her first solo show I am Libya, which took place a few weeks ago in the Barah Arts and Culture Centre in Benghazi and will travel to Tripoli’s old city at the beginning of December.

I have interviewed the artist for Middle East Monitor.

Here is the link to the interview

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Despite a lack of cultural spaces, as well as ongoing political and economic instability, Libyan artists are determined to nurture their diverse arts scene.

I have spoken to a few of these important figures, working from Tripoli, Benghazi or from abroad, for Middle East Eye.

Here is the link to the piece

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It has been a few months now that I have been working on two articles about Libyan contemporary art for the webmagazine Middle East Eye.

The first one of the two just came out. Here we look at the younger talents in the country and in the diaspora, Shefa Salem, Tewa Barnosa, Mohamed Abumeis, Malak El Ghuel and Faiza Ramadan, with the observation from gallerist and expert Najlaa Elageli from Noon Arts.

Here is the link to the piece

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Tripoli-born art entrepreneur and educator Shatha Sbeta is very clear about her objective. “I want to bring Libyan female artists and their artworks — as well as their stories — out to the world through commerce.”

My research on Libyan contemporary art continues with an interview with Shatha Sbeta for the webmagazine Middle East Monitor.

Here is the link to the interview

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In the last couple of years I have been developing a growing fascination with the complexities of Libyan culture. While in my past I have been focused mainly on how Italian artists were looking at colonialism in Libya, now I’m starting to delve on the voices of Libyan artists themselves.

And what a better way of approaching the subject than interviewing Najlaa Elageli for Middle East Monitor. She has greatly contributed to spread the knowledge on contemporary Libyan art in the country and abroad.

Here is the link to the interview

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Among the different research I’m currently conducting around different themes and places in contemporary art, one of the interest trail in Italian colonialism in North Africa.

I have written some pieces about Italian colonialism in Libya, and now I looked at Ethiopia and Eritrea with Eritrean-born artist Dawit L. Petros.

He has focused for over a decade on a critical re-reading of colonialism. His artworks aim for an introspective and textured analysis of the historical factors that determined migrations, and his practice always includes extensive research on the field.

Here is the link to the piece

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The Italian magazine Internazionale has translated and published my article on artists reflection on the responsibilities of Italian colonialism in Libya.

I originally wrote the article for Middle East Eye. It features interviews with filmaker and writer Khalifa Abo Khraisse, artist and videomaker Martina Melilli and multimedia artist Leone Contini.

Here is the pdf version of the piece

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My article on Italian colonialism in Libya has just been published by Middle East Eye. The piece explores how filmmakers and artists are exploring a largely neglected history of Italy’s presence in Libya in the 20th century.

It took me some three months to get all the voices together and get a clear picture of history. Thought I’m taking the art lens, this artist and country and type of research is a bit outside my comfort zone, so I was tempted to stop at what I had a few times.

It took a very determined editor to allow me to go all the way down with it. Like all the difficult things in life, this allowed me to bring my understanding and writing to a new level.

Here is the link to the piece

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The webmagazine Middle East Monitor has just published my review of the excellent theater play “Libya. Back Home” by Paola Di Mitri, with texts by Miriam Selima Fieno, Giancarlo Fieno and Khalifa Abo Khraisse. It was presented last week at the Romaeuropa Festival.

I’m starting researching a bit Italian colonialism in North Africa, and in Libya in particular, so it was extremely interesting to see this artistic re-elaboration who tackles this subjects, among many important others.

Here is the link to the review

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