Orientality: an Open Door to the World For the success that the Orientalist Museum has achieved in the conference entitled 'Orientality', I would like to represent one of our leading projects in research which was referred in the press "provides a forum for the continued investigation, facilitation,, and promotion of the study of Cultural Orientalism, including visual art, literature, music and dance'. I.The Orientalist Museum The Orientalist Museum has one of the most significant collections of Orientalist art ever assembled in the world. Indeed we are the only museum solely dedicated to Orientalist art, a movement which discusses the topic of the 'other'; Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in the eyes of the Western artists. This movement attracted a huge number of international talented artists who depicted this 'other' either by a first-hand or a second-hand experience. Their works reveal their impressions and give us a global understanding of the world. The Orientalist Museum is reassessing our past and present in order to bring back our forgotten and unknown memories. In this way, the museum is reclaiming the term 'Orientalist' by allowing local and greater MENA audiences to look at themselves through the eyes of outsiders. By doing so, we preserve a part of our heritage and take ownership of it. Though our museum is not yet open to the public, we hold exhibitions and conferences in order to reach our audience and to build a better mutual understanding between people. The artworks of this movement are a fascinating record of our past. II.The Orientalist Museum and Research Through exhibitions, conferences and research the Orientalist Museum opens the door for a conversation of cross-cultural experiences by discussing different related issues such as: social values, politics, ethnography, etc. The Orientalist art movement which emerged in the Renaissance period and reached its peak in the nineteenth century, had a great impact on art and culture today. Therefore through these conferences and exhibitions and by conducting and publishing research, the museum strives to increase knowledge and awareness about this very important art movement. III.The Orientality Conference For the purpose of raising the public awareness and developing their knowledge about the Orientalist art movement, the Orientalist Museum is hosting a biennial conference series entitled 'Orientality'. This conference aims to bring together leading academics to discuss the Orientalist art movement and its surrounding culture, in order to exchange ideas and thoughts based on original research. The represented papers will in turn be published in an associated journal. Our first conference was hosted in association with Pembroke College, Cambridge University in the UK on May 17 and 18, 2013. The conference was titled "Orientality: Cultural Orientalism and Mentality". Our next conference, subtitled 'Beyond the Foreign Affairs', will be held at the National Portrait Gallery in London in 2015, and the follow up will take place in Istanbul in 2017. We hope to spread the word by partnering with prestigious museums, academic institutions and media to convey our message.


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