Anissa Touati

Anissa Touati
Imagining Communities through Architecture — The Mediterranean Sea as a Constellation
Part of the MIT Spring 2024 Architecture Lecture Series. Presented with the Art, Culture, and Technology program.

ONLINE Webcast

This lecture will present three projects that bring together art and architecture united by the Mediterranean Sea as a coherent site of imagination, collective future and interconnectedness:

  1. Cycles of Collapsing Progress, an exhibition held at the Oscar Niemeyer-designed Unesco World Heritage Site in Tripoli, Lebanon.  
  2. Warché, a show at the Thalie Foundation in Brussels that links the history of Beirut with the sunken Roman city of Baiae (Italy) and the geometrical architecture of the Arab world  through an original installation by architect Lina Gothmeh.  
  3. Mare a Mare, a refuge for a Mediterranean nation, designed with architect Meriem Chabani for the Lagos Biennale in Nigeria. This pavilion refers to a transnational shelter where differences cohabit, exceeding national identities, borders, and hierarchies: a breeding ground for future intersections.  

Taking this intercontinental Basin as a key site for the exchange of ideas, these 3 proposals reconfigure the Mediterranean as a constellation, both imaginary and real. Navigating from shore to shore, fictional communities help us see the Mediterranean Sea as a whole. 

Anissa Touati is a transnational independent curator working between the West and the global South. Trained as an archeologist and medievalist, she takes the Broader Mediterranean as a source of inspiration for her pluriversal work. She is currently guest curator 2023-2024 of the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire, Geneva and visiting scholar at Brown University, USA. Over the past decade,  She has taken on the role of  artistic  director at several international locations, curated or co-curated exhibitions and projects in many different countries including Chalet Society (France), Paris Internationale (France), Thalie Foundation (Belgium), Contemporary Istanbul (Turkey), BEMA Museum (Lebanon), Lagos Biennial (Nigeria), Broad art museum (USA) amongst others. 

This lecture will be held in person in Long Lounge, 7-429 and streamed online.

Lectures are free and open to the public. Lectures will be held Thursdays at 6 PM ET in 7-429 (Long Lounge) and streamed online unless otherwise noted. Registration required to attend in-person. Register here or watch the webcast on Youtube.