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Mohammad Al Attar

Art, Revolution, and Exile

Wednesday, April 17, 2024, 5:00–6:30pm

Neubauer Collegium, 5701 S Woodlawn Ave

Actors on a stage. Photo from While I Was Waiting by Mohammad Al Attar

While I Was Waiting, written by Mohammad Al Attar, performed at the Lincoln Center, New York, 2017. Photo: Didier Nadeau.

Mohammad Al Attar is a playwright, dramaturg, and author celebrated for his work chronicling war-torn Syria and the aftermaths of the 2011 uprisings. Plays such as Yesterday’s Encounter (2024), Damascus 2045 (2021), The Factory (2019), Aleppo: A Portrait of Absence (2017), and While I Was Waiting (2016) take place at the boundary between fiction and documentary. They have been staged at theaters and festivals around the world.

In conversation with Lisa Wedeen, Al Attar will discuss his creative practice and some of the questions he and other Syrian artists in exile grapple with as they reflect on their country’s recent past and imagine possible futures: What bargains do we make to stay safe? Whose memories count as the truth about the past, and how do revolutionary narratives get authorized? What would justice be for Syrians around the world having to deal with their sense of helplessness and abandonment? And what is the role of art in these urgent political, legal, and ethical discussions?

Born in Damascus and now living in Berlin, Al Attar is in Chicago this spring as a Visiting Scholar,  hosted by the Reimagining Cosmopolitanism project with the support of the Neubauer Collegium and 3CT. During his time here, aside from working on a new play, he will take an active part in the project’s research into what it means to be a citizen of the world today.

Presented by 3CT and the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society with support from the Pozen Family Center for Human Rights.

This event is free and open to the public, and registration is recommended. Please email us at  if you require any accommodations to enable your full participation.