Powerful Voices at NUART 2017 : NUART PLUS Kicks Off

“Steve & Jaime—We made it! Thank you so so much. You were huge. Every time you tweeted or posted, I would get a run of pledges. It means a lot. I promise to make a great film that the community will be proud of.” That was what film director Mark Nickolas told us when BSA fans answered the call to donate to his planned trip to Egypt to investigate the Street Art/graffiti scene in the wake of The Arab Spring. That’s the power of community.

BSA was glad to use our site and social platform to help bring attention to Mark’s project to raise money, and when he finished the first portion of his brand new film we were elated to debut a scene from Nefertiti’s Daughters at Nuart 2014 in Norway for our presentation to the Nuart Plus audience on activism on the streets.

The very first time shown to an audience, the documentary featured a horrifying scene in Cairo’s Tahrir Square with the army brutalizing a female demonstrator, backed up by an interview with Egyptian artist Bahia Shehab, who recounted in shattering detail about the shocking birth of the “Blue Bra” grassroots street art campaign that spoke directly to political empowerment and women’s liberation from patriarchy. Her quiet, steady, determined voice has echoed the voices of many, an example of how powerful the individual citizen is.

Full circle, fast forward to this very day, Bahia Shehab is one of the honored artists and powerful voices invited to Nuart 2017 in Stavanger. That gives you an idea how deep Nuart’s roots go, but not nearly the number of directions. Sociology, politics, art history, the study of public/space and a healthy penchant for questioning authority are always hallmarks here. A thinking person’s guide to art in the streets, the new offerings illustrate how the balance of Director Martyn Reed and Nuart Manager James Finucane is also hitting its stride as a tightly dynamic and probingly inquisitive enterprise.

Today officially kicks off the Nuart Plus 2017 program that will run through the weekend along with all of the installations throughout the city and culminate in the grand exhibition at the beer halls, or Tou Scene. “This year’s symposium is dedicated to exploring ‘power’ in the public sphere: who has it, how do they wield it, what are the conduits to it and the mechanisms that control it? Is it distributed fairly and what happens when you challenge it?

Leading the charge will be Pedro Soares Neves, Lisbon founder of UrbanCreativity.org followed by artists, academics, critics, organizers, producers, and misshapen social outcasts, among them Carlo McCormick, Know Hope, Vermibus, Evan Pricco, Ian Strange, Carrie Reichhardt, Laima Nomeikaite, Javier Abarca, Emma Arnold – the list is longer than this.

Along with lectures and panels and onstage interviews, Nuart will again present the “Fight Club” at a local bar where progressively drunker “experts” discuss weighty topics onstage and gradually devolve into a world of heated non-sequitors and triumphalist exaltations.

We introduced the “Saving Banksy” movie at Nuart Aberdeen this spring and Stavanger audiences will get to see the Scandanavian debut here Friday as well, and Nuart Gallery will host a group show featuring Add Fuel (PT), Ampparito (ES), Bahia Shehab (EG), Carrie Reichardt (UK), Ian Strange (AU), John Fekner (US), Know Hope (IL), ±maismenos± (PT), Igor Ponosov (RU), Nina Ghafari (IR/NO), Ricky Lee Gordon (ZA), Slava Ptrk (RU), Vermibus (DE), and Wan Ho (CH/NO).

These events and mind-expanding opportunities are all in addition to this years festival of murals and installations throughout the city, proving again that Nuart can be depended on for powerhouse programming and intellect-tickling engagement at multiple levels. We’ll be showing you the new fresh works from invited artists in upcoming days here and on our social channels, courtesy the intrepid eagle-eyed Tor Ståle Moen. Naturally we’ll be excited to see Bahia Shehab’s work as well, a sweet homecoming of sorts.

For more detail on the Nuart Plus program that begins today, please go here.

Too far, Too close is a project by Igor Ponosov which sees a typical Stavanger sailing boat transformed into an abstract mural for Nuart Festival 2017.

Nuart 2017 artists include:

Ampparito (ES), Bahia Shehab (EG), Carrie Reichardt (UK), flyingleaps presents Derek Mawudoku (UK), Ian Strange (AU), John Fekner (US), Know Hope (IL), ±maismenos± (PT), Igor Ponosov (RU), Ricky Lee Gordon (ZA), Slava Ptrk (RU), Vermibus (DE)