Artefacts destroyed by IS in Iraq
A gigantic jigsaw puzzle
It will be 2026 before Mosul's Cultural Museum reopens. Lena Bopp found out how restorers are going about repairing the damage inflicted by Islamic State
Saudi Arabia's cultural revolution
Artists, but not individuals in the Western sense
"Saudi Vision 2030" foresees the accelerated modernisation of Saudi Arabia – and that includes the country’s culture. Huge amounts of government funding are being poured into the arts, while exchange with the West is welcomed. These new freedoms do, however, have their limits, as Joseph Croitoru reports.
Berlin Museum of Islamic Art
"Islamic Art” goes digital
The Berlin Museum of Islamic Art’s new online portal is the first digital platform in the German-speaking world to present Islamic cultures in an innovative and entertaining way. By Ceyda Nurtsch
Blasphemy, iconoclasm, Islamophobia?
Islamic art – understanding the richness of the Muslim world
How is one to convey the history of Islamic images of Muhammad freed from today’s polarised politics? What are the challenges and pinch points of this particular academic endeavour?
God's love for all
Sufism is not just Muslim
Sufism has fluid boundaries. Just like Islam, Sufism is inconceivable without its late antique roots. Then again, it has also exerted an influence on Hinduism. Moreover, the Sufic doctrine of divine love exists independently of Islam. By Stefan Weidner
Egypt family keeps alive kiswah tradition
Under the steady hum of a ceiling fan, Ahmed Othman weaves golden threads through black fabric, creating Koranic verses, a century after his grandfather's work adorned the Kaaba in Mecca's Grand Mosque. A ceremonial hanging of the kiswah over the cubic structure symbolises the launch of the hajj annual pilgrimage
Iranian artist Farzaneh Khademian's "Peephole"
Women living "life without a life"
In her latest exhibition in Japan, Farzaneh Khademian depicts figures who seem detached from their surroundings. In interview with Qantara.de, the Iranian photographer and painter explains the impact of photography, migration and gender-based inequality on her paintings. By Changiz M. Varzi
"I am a stranger: a stranger twice over"
Contemporary art meets early Islamic high culture
Running until 20 February 2022, Ali Kaaf’s installation "Ich bin Fremder. Zweifach Fremder" will be on show in front of the largest and perhaps most significant piece of Islamic art to grace any museum worldwide. In exhibiting his piece in this way, Kaaf draws it into a contemporary dialogue with the 1,300-year-old facade
The new Ataturk Cultural Center in Istanbul
Turkey's second modern age
Between Ataturk's republican utopia and Erdogan's 21st century Islam: the newly built AKM Cultural Center in Istanbul. By Tomas Avenarius
Graffiti artist Shamsia Hassani
Giving voice to Afghanistan's oppressed
Afghanistan's first female street artist depicts Afghan women as they face renewed Taliban threats. Despite the danger, she pursues her work of resistance. By Cristina Burack
"What is Islamic art?" with art historian Wendy Shaw
What is art, when the primary sensory organ is the heart?
How can we truly appreciate the richness of cultures not our own? In her recent book "What is Islamic art? Between religion and perception", art historian Wendy Shaw explains the need to abandon our vision-centred perception of art and the aesthetic, embarking instead on a multi-sensory voyage of discovery. Interview by Lucy James
Interview with Iranian filmmaker Shahram Mokri
"We are lucky to be alive today"
In August 1978, four men set fire to the Cinema Rex in the Iranian city of Abadan, killing more than four hundred people inside. The event is said to have started the Iranian Revolution to overthrow the Shah's regime. Forty years later, "Careless Crime" by Iranian filmmaker Shahram Mokri depicts four men planning to burn down a cinema in a contemporary Iran where ghosts of the past haunt the current society. Interview by Schayan Riaz