Lecturer 2015 - present

Egyptian-Lebanese multidisciplinary artist, archivist, and educator, Lara Baladi, was born in Beirut, raised in Cairo and Paris, educated in London. She lived in Egypt until 2014 and is since then has is based between Cairo and Cambridge, Massachusetts.

 

Baladi worked as a photojournalist, a producer in advertising and film, a radio host, and a set photographer for short and feature films before starting her career as a visual artist. Her practice spans from photography, video, sculpture to architecture, and multi-media installations. Through a process of investigation into archives, which she combines with her own photographic works, Baladi examines and appropriates visual popular iconography to question memory, mythological and socio-political narratives, personal histories, and History.

 

Since 1997, Baladi has made forays into archival research, directed magazine editorials, and curated exhibitions and artist residencies. In 2006, Baladi founded the artist residency Fenenin el Rehal (Arabic, Nomadic Artists) in Egypt’s White Desert. Baladi won the first prize (Grand Nile Award) at the Cairo Biennale 2008-09 for her ephemeral construction and sound installation Borg El Amal (in Arabic, The Tower of Hope).

 

During the 2011 Egyptian uprisings, she co-founded two media initiatives, Radio Tahrir and Tahrir Cinema, an open submission platform, Tahrir Cinema informed and raised discussion among demonstrators and challenged the political commitment and ideas of those who took control of Tahrir Square.

 

Baladi describes Tahrir Cinema and Radio Tahrir— in which she played a key role in organizing during the July sit-ins at Tahrir Square, as ‘counter-propaganda operations’ that responded to a need during the extended occupation of Tahrir to channel the energy of the streets, and to provide the large assembled audiences with an alternative narrative to that being disseminated by State media.” Beth Stryker, Domus Magazine.

 

The amalgamation of these experiences overlaps with and carries over into Baladi’s art practice. Baladi‘s ongoing project since 2011, Vox Populi: Tahrir Archives, includes a series of media initiatives, artworks, essays, and publications. Upcoming, in 2021, to mark a decade of protests across the world, from the 2011 Arab uprisings to other more recent global social movements, Baladi will exhibit and present Anatomy of a Revolution, an ABC of revolution. This project, which is the culmination of a decade of investigation into the history of protests and revolutions, will be published along with a publication by MIT Press & Sternberg.

 

In 2014, she was a Fellow at MIT’s Open Documentary Lab and in 2015, the Ida Ely Rubin Artist in Residence at MIT’s Centre for Art, Science, and Technology (CAST). Since 2015, she has been a Lecturer in MIT’s Program in Art, Culture and Technology (ACT).

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