Transcultural encounters

Visualising France and the Maghreb in contemporary art

By Siobhán Shilton

Transcultural encounters

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-8710-3
  • Pages: 256
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: April 2013
  • BIC Category: Art History, History of art, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General, ART / History / Contemporary (1945-), Society & social sciences / Cultural studies, The arts / History of art / art & design styles
  • Series: Rethinking Art's Histories


Art since the 1980s reveals a striking proliferation of works exploring the complex cross-cultural identities that have resulted from a long history of exchange between France and the Maghreb. This adventurous study examines distinctively visual means of presenting 'Franco-Maghrebi' identities in performance, video, photography and installation art. Transcultural encounters investigates the ways in which such art spurs a re-thinking of both postcolonial and feminist issues and critical terms in an uneven globalised frame. It demonstrates how this corpus develops art historical debates concerning gender and representation, while also considering emerging visions of the Maghreb. Analysing a wide range of works presented in galleries, online or in the street, this study shows how they test the boundaries of established art genres, calling for the invention of new modalities of 'reading' transnational visual culture. The first book to explore postcolonial and feminist approaches to contemporary art from a 'Francophone' space, Transcultural encounters incorporates much material that has previously received little critical attention.

The book will be of interest to researchers in French studies, postcolonial studies, visual studies and gender studies, as well as curators and artists working across cultures and media.


Introduction: Visualising Franco-Maghrebi identities
1. Art, fashion and veiling: Majida Khattari's défilé-performances
2. Performing the veil in urban and virtual spaces: Princess Hijab and Niqabitch secoue Paris
3. Belly dancing to the Marseillaise: crossing cultures and media in the art of Zoulikha Bouabdellah
4. Transculturation and 'veiling the mind' in the art of Zineb Sedira
5. Visualising diversity: renegotiating 'home' in video art by Katia Kameli
6. New orientations in the art of travel: Maghrebi and Mediterranean journeys in video and photography
Conclusion: transnational art in a Francophone frame


Siobhán Shilton is Senior Lecturer in French Studies at the University of Bristol

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