Khalid Albaih travels from Washington D.C. to Memphis with Culturunners

Words by Elena Scarpa
May 3, 2016

Against the backdrop of the US Presidential election, one of the most influential political cartoonists in the Arab world, Khalid Albaih, will travel from Washington, D.C. to Memphis, TN (via New York, NY and Houston, TX) exploring the shared struggle for human and civil rights between the Middle East and the United States. The journey will culminate in Memphis with an event at the National Civil Rights Museum, located at the former Lorraine Motel, where civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968.

As pressure increases for human rights across the Middle East and North Africa, Doha-based Sudanese artist will travel the US as part of Culturunners US Tour, exploring the emerging race and civil rights issues in relation to heightened discussions around the presidential election campaigns.

As tensions rise and accusations sparkle, we see the campaign reaching its peak, setting a fertile ground for a cartoonist who is used to covering politics in a delicate region like the Middle East. Khalid and Culturunners will start their journey in Washington D.C., taking part in a roundtable at the Arab Center of Washington, before flying to New York and then Houston, where they will pick up the Culturunners RV and drive through the Southern US before arriving in Memphis, TN on May 5th where they will co-host a historic talk at the National Civil Rights Museum.

Culturunners is an organization devoted to bridging the gap of understanding by bringing artists from the Middle East to the United States, and vice versa. For the last two years, the group has been traveling throughout the US and Mexico in an arts-studio RV, hosting cultural exchanges in various locations including MIT, the Smithsonian Institute, The Armory Show and at gas stations along the way.

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