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Moroccan Modernism, 1956-1978
Holiday Powers: Assistant Professor in Art History at VCUarts Qatar
Moroccan Modernism 1956-1978 focuses on the artists of the Casablanca school and the modernism movement in post-colonial Morocco. For these artists, art was not just confined to aesthetic debates – art was part of a public conversation about decolonization and meant to incite a broader cultural change. I argue for a reading of Moroccan modernism that is deeply rooted in a contemporaneous national context yet that arises from a cosmopolitan foundation in dialogue with transnational anti-colonial intellectual movements. I argue the crux of modernism – particularly the Moroccan experience of modernism – itself.
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Holiday Powers is an assistant professor of global modern and contemporary art, emphasizing art in the Arab world. She received her Ph.D. in 2015 from Cornell University. Her first book, Moroccan Modernism 1956-1978: The Casablanca School, is forthcoming in the New African Histories series at the Ohio University Press. Her research emphasizes the articulation of local and transnational discourses in modern and contemporary art, particularly within the Arab world, from the post-colonial and feminist theory perspective. Her new research focuses on representations of maternal bodies in global modern and contemporary art. She has contributed to publications including Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art and the Journal of North African Studies. Additionally, she has been active in contemporary art, including her role as Artistic Program Coordinator and Parallel Projects for the Marrakech Biennale 5. Powers has curated two exhibitions for the VCUarts Qatar gallery.
Previous lectures in the series may be viewed here.