unnamed-3Building Alliances through the Arts was the title of the panel I moderated at the IETM Beirut Satellite last week, a meeting that also occasioned an online Campaign for Freedom of Expression during which we launched the Artist [safe] Spaces initiative (by ArtistSafety.net) in partnership with Al Mawred and the Association for Freedom of Thought & Expression (Egypt); the overall initiative is called Kon Ma3a El Fann (which loosely translates in English to Be with Art).  Over the past few weeks, I’ve been on the road working similarly.  In Vienna, I met with my co-authors for the biennial report (2017) to the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions for which I’ll be writing the chapter on Artistic Freedom.  In between Vienna and Beirut I visited Ramallah, Palestine for Qalandiya International, a multi-site biennial evoking the words of Mahmoud Darwish in its title, This Sea is Mine.