Political discussion and concert Tuesday, 03. December 2019 /

Blackbox Libya

Political dynamics and spaces for artistic interventions

Creator: Ahmed Barudi. Creative Commons License LogoThis image is licensed under Creative Commons License.
Date, Time
Tue, 03. Dec 2019,
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm Save in my calendar
Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung - Headquarter Berlin
Schumannstr. 8
10117 Berlin
Simultanious translation
Heinrich Böll Foundation - Headquarter Berlin
Terms and Conditions

Following the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi, the turmoil of 2011 lead to the rapid collapse of governmental structures in Libya. Since then, political and military groups and militias have been fighting to control the resources of the African country with the largest oil reserves.
Presently, troops and militias of Fayiz Al Sarradsh’s caretaker government, recognised since the end of 2015 by the United Nations, are in control of Tripoli and of parts of western Libya, and they are fighting the forces of Khalifa Haftar. Haftar, after returning from exile in the US, had participated in the overthrow of Gaddafi, and he claims that his present campaign is part of a fight against Islamists. After defeating militias in Benghazi and Fezzan Province, he is now in control of 85% of the country.

In April, shortly before a UN-sponsored peace conference was to take place, Haftar started an offensive against the capital.

It is little surprise that foreign interests are stoking the struggle for power and dominance in the oil-rich country. While Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, as well as Russia and France, are backing General Khalifa Haftar, Turkey, Qatar and Italy are siding with the government in Tripoli. The comprehensive UN arms embargo, in place since 2011, is routinely ignored, and war crimes are being committed on both sides.

On the other hand, the German government is trying to pave the way towards a negotiated settlement within the framework of the Berlin Process.

In Germany and Europe, debate about Libya is often limited to the angle of EU migration policy and the appalling situation of migrants and refugees. This event aims to open other perspectives on what is the “Blackbox Libya”. A panel discussion followed by a performative dialogue with Libyan artists will shed light on the political dynamics and the everyday realities of civil society, as well as on means of communicating and acting. The first panel will focus on the power constellations in the war-torn country: What are the roots of the war? Who is fighting who – and why? What are realistic options for peace? For the second part of the evening, Libyan artists will take centre stage, illuminating the spaces left for civil society and presenting their works.

Part 1 – panel:
Political realities and dynamics in Libya

•    Wolfram Lacher, German Institute for International and Security Affairs
•    Elham Saudi, Director, Lawyers for Justice in Libya
•    Heba Shibani, journalist, activist, photographer and film maker

Part 2 – discussion and performance:
Spaces for civil society to communicate and act

•    Aiman Al Huni, musician and composer
•    Tewa Bernosa, artist and curator, Waraq Art Foundation
•    Ahmed Barudi, artist and curator, Dwaya artists’ initiative
•    Farah Elle, singer and composer
•    Fuad Gritli, musician and activist

This will be followed by a break for networking, during which snacks and drinks will be offered.

Finally, "Breaking the Ice" – a performance of Libyan folk and indie music.

The evening will be hosted by:

Mirco Keilberth, North Africa correspondent, Libya expert, co-founder of the initiative “Breaking the Ice”

Heike Löschmann, head of Tunis office, Heinrich Böll Foundation, Tunis


Languages: English/German/Arabic with simultaneous translation


Fuad Gritli, Musiker und Aktivist / All rights reserved.
Fuad Gritli, Musiker und Aktivist / All rights reserved.

Further Information:        

Anja Hoffmann,  senior programme officer North Africa & Iran, Heinrich Böll Foundation

e-mail: hoffmann@boell.de   phone +49(0)285 34 -321