The discussion in this session addressed the issue of the artist in exile and the associated guilt of being outside, something perceived by those left behind as a reward, a life in a place that is free of any problems. Burmese artist and performer Chaw Ei spoke about the suspicion many held that she is using her political situation to enhance her celebrity status. Syrian playwright, actor, and theater director Naila al-Atrash argued that working using with the language of theater, one actually has a better chance to communicate with people and to reach the audience. And though communication in a nonnative language can often be an obstacle, working in the milieu of universities—the least parochial institutions, as in the case of most artists in exile—makes the situation of the artists easier, and their art work more welcome and accessible to an open-minded audience.


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pp. 185-190
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