This essay explores the articulation of the Arabic letter and text in the modern art of North Africa as a liminal space of interaction. Arabic text in particular offered artists a space of intersection between the various layers of identities of North Africa (al Maghrib al-Arabi) and the Middle East (al-Mashraq al-Arabi), including the new Arab political and cultural formulations. Moreover, through the Arabic letter, North African artists, as all other Arab artists, found a solution to the modernist paradigm that demanded a severance with history and tradition. The Arabic letter served as a point of connection between their past and the present.
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Nada M. Shabout; The Arabic Connection in Articulating North African Modernity in Art. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 July 2010; 109 (3): 529–543. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-2010-004
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