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The Center for the Study of Citizenship is honored to bring

Nobel Peace Prize recipient

Dr. Shirin Ebadi

to Detroit on April 7 for a

Free Public Lecture Discussing her Work in Support of

Democracy, Human Rights and Art and Justice.

The lecture is part of Global Imaginaries/Individual Realities, a lecture series the Center is sponsoring in partnership with the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Dr. Ebadi,  a former judge and founder of the Defenders of Human Rights Center, became the first Iranian to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003. Immediately following her lecture, Hamid Dabashi will moderate a conversation between Dr. Ebadi and Shirin Neshat, an Iranian visual artist whose work is the subject of a DIA exhibition that runs from Sunday, April 7 to Sunday, July 7, 2013. 

Organized in conjunction with the DIA's Shirin Neshat exhibition, the Global Imaginaries lectures provide a platform for artists and their communities to enter into a wider conversation about socially engaged art.

Besides Dr. Ebadi, speakers featured in the Global Imaginaries series include:

All lectures are at 7:00 p.m. in the Detroit Film Theatre Auditorium with the exception of the Shirin Ebadi lecture which will take place at 5:30 pm on Sunday, April 7, 2013.

Anthropologist, Arjun Appadurai articulated the view that there is a new global cultural process: the imagination as a social practice.  He believes that art is a powerful tool for social commentary, which may spur political and cultural changes.   This concept challenges us to negotiate our place within this imagined community in consideration of our own personal experiences as members of actual families and neighborhoods, with real ethnic and cultural histories. 

Dr. Appadurai will speak about art and artists whose work functions to raise social awareness as they focus on issues of identity and cultural production. Appadurai is the Goddard Professor of Media, Culture, and Communications at the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.

Join us for Arjun Appadurai's lecture on March 21.


Shirin Neshat is one of the most significant contemporary artists working today.  Internationally renowned for her conceptual photography, films and video installations, the exiled Iranian-American artist challenges the divide between the artist and social critic.  Informed by her experiences, Neshat's work oscillates between the personal and universal, transcending preconceptions of culture, nationality, ethnicity and gender.  Shirin Neshat will join us to speak about her work as it relates the global imaginary, highlighting her upcoming major retrospective exhibition organized by the Detroit Institute of Arts. 

Join us for Shirin Neshat's lecture on March 27.


Artist, architect, and filmmaker, Alfredo Jaar investigates ways that art can be used as a tool to awaken consciousness about social and global conditions that, in turn, advances justice.  His critical approach to mass media solicits empathetic responses through multi-media installations.  Born in Chile and living in the United States, Jaar's commentaries expose latent prejudices embedded in images of cultural differences that uncover imbalances of power between the industrialized and developing nations: holocaust in Rwanda, gold mining in Brazil, toxic pollution in Nigeria, and issues related to the border between Mexico and the United States.

Join us for Alfredo Jaar's lecture on April 3.

Shirin Ebadi received the Nobel Peace Prize  (2003) for her pioneering efforts to support democracy and human rights in Iran for nearly fifty years.  She devised unconventional legal strategies for human rights and successfully advocated for justice in a repressive political regime.  In 2006 she joined six other Nobel laureates to form the Noble Women's Initiative. 

Ms. Ebadi will present a public address about her work.

Join us for Shirin Ebadi's lecture on April 7.

Artist Shirin Neshat first received international acclaim for the pioneering conceptual photographic series, Women of Allah (1993-97), her effort to reconcile memories of Iran from her youth with the realities of political changes in her homeland.  Her development as a socially engaged artist is the topic of her retrospective at the DIA.  Neshat joins Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi for a conversation about art and justice, moderated by noted sociologist of culture Hamid Dabashi, Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University.  Dabashi is a noted scholar and commentator about the relationship between art and politics.

Join us for a conversation with Shirin Ebadi and Shirin Neshat and moderator Hamid Dabashi on April 7.

Artist Esther Shalev-Gerz investigates the relationship between cultural memory, citizenship and public space.  Born in Vilnius, Lithuania, educated in Israel, and now living in Paris, Shalev-Gerz creates photos, videos, and multi-media installations that examine the complex nature of change in physical and social environments and this impacts individual identities and influences history.

Join us for Ms. Shalev-Gerz's lecture on April 10.

Celebrated for his complex installations that include absurdist parables, Houston-based artist Trenton Doyle Hancock makes paintings that address his roots as a black artist.  His newest efforts show domestic settings that are set on-end by a satirical take on life.

Join us for Trenton Doyle Hancock's lecture on April 24.



For updated information visit: www.globalimaginarydia.org or the Center's Facebook page.


The Center would like to thank the following sponsors:



The Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights at Wayne State University


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