Introduction to “Revolutionary Painting and the Palestinian Revolution,” by Mohammed Chabâa, and “Palestinian Artists and the Biennial,” from Toni Maraini’s “Baghdad 1974: A Summary of the First Arab Biennial of Fine Arts” (Both 1974)

In 1974, Moroccan cultural journal Intégral published a special edition on the first Arab biennial of visual arts, which had just taken place in Baghdad. The two documents translated here come from this special edition, and both of them deal with the Palestinian presence at the landmark exhibition. Moroccan artist Mohamad Chebaa and Italian-Moroccan art historian Toni Maraini each consider Palestine an ideal arena for the development of decolonial “combat art,” but express disappointment with its pavilion’s emphasis on folk idioms over images of armed struggle. The introduction to these documents situates them in relation to Moroccan and Palestinian discourses surrounding heritage and colonialism, arguing that the Palestinian context erodes the distinction between “folk” and “combat” art in ways foreign to the Casablanca-based intellectuals.

ARTMargins Online, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp. 102-112.


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