Une Assemblée de poète.sse.s civiques — A Convening of Civic Poets


Drawing, installation, poetry

Une Assemblée de poète.sse.s civiques
A Convening of Civic Poets

In 2 days: October 6, 2023 → February 4, 2024

A Convening of Civic Poets is a collaboration between KADIST Paris and Sharjah Art Foundation, following the co-production of Farah Al Qasimi’s film Um Al Dhabaab (Mother of Fog) in the context of the 15 Sharjah Art Biennial Thinking Historically in the Present. Co-curated by both organizations’ directors, it showcases works from the respective collections alongside invited contributions that seek to probe the relevance of the figure of the civic poet and their redefinition on civic engagement.

Pier Paolo Pasolini, a prominent reference, would define the role of the poet as a public voice endowed with an ethical responsibility towards reality and against the brokenness of the world. Civic poets champion an intellectual rage that addresses present and historical urgencies, and expand through their writings and actions the practice of social justice as well as a renewed sense of linguistic agency.

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Bouchra Khalili, The Typographer, 2019 (extrait) © Bouchra Khalili. Courtesy de l‘artiste et mor charpentier

The exhibition features artists who pay tribute to civic poets. Manthia Diawara’s film discusses freedom with activist Angela Davis and Bouchra Khalili'’tories of black female civil rights protesters, and Jinoos Taghizadeh imprints on the reverse of stamps the portraits of Iranian intellectuals murdered because of their dissidence.

Radios and their transformative role are also part of the exhibition, including a mixtape by Radio Alhara & Learning Palestine Group on the present, past and future of Palestine, and Hajer Ben Boubaker’s podcast on North African migrant movements in Paris. Some artists in the show identify as poets, harnessing language’s political power, like Cecilia Vicuña’s Palabrarma series and David Wojnarowicz’s spoken word addresses during the AIDS crisis filmed together with Marion Scemama. Public events and discussions with Farah Al Qasimi and Joe Namy complete the project, expanding on related questions.

A Convening of Civic Poets connects these diverse voices and issues, forming a geography of kindred struggles and solidarities spanning from Palestine to Barbès. However, a central tension — as present in Nidhal Chamekh’s work — arises as artists grapple with the role of being witnesses and how to transmit their experiences without reducing them. This project doesn't aim to provide definitive answers but rather seeks to explore the relevance of civic poetry today in fostering a sphere of radical civility and new forms of artistic engagement.

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Manthia Diawara, Angela Davis: A World of Greater Freedom, 2023 (extraits) Commissionné par la Sharjah Art Foundation — Courtesy de l‘artiste et Lumiar Cité — Maumaus

The space of KADIST Paris will be articulated through a listening and gathering room, with works by Cecilia Vicuña, Nidhal Chamekh, Joe Namy, Radio Alhara and Learning Palestine study group, or Jinoos Taghizadeh, among others, and a cinema room screening films by Manthia Diawara, Bouchra Khalili, and David Wojnarowicz & Marion Scemama.

Curators: Hoor Al Qasimi, president and director of Sharjah Art Foundation & Julia Morandeira Arrizabalaga, director of KADIST Paris

  • Opening Thursday, October 5 6 PM → 9 PM
18 Montmartre Zoom in 18 Montmartre Zoom out

19 bis, 21, rue des Trois Frères

75018 Paris

T. 01 42 51 83 49



Opening hours

Thursday – Sunday, 3 PM – 8 PM
Other times by appointment

Admission fee

Free entrance

The artists

  • David Wojnarowicz
  •  Marion Scemama
  • Helina Metaferia
  • Joe Namy
  • Jinoos Taghizadeh
  • Cecilia Vicuña
  • Nidhal Chamekh