New Brunswick Free Public Library

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New Brunswick NJ 08901

New Brunswick Free Public Library

The Fertile Crescent
at the New Brunswick Free Public Library.

Fertile Crescent: Gender, Art, and Society; a program of the Rutgers Institute for Women and Art

The New Brunswick Free Public Library is a program partner for The Fertile Crescent,
a project organized by the Rutgers University Institute for Women and Art.

Judith K. Brodsky and Ferris Olin are directors of the project, which is a showcase of exhibitions, symposia, lectures, film screenings, musical and literary events by contemporary Middle East women artists, scholars, filmmakers, composers, performers, and writers.
Make sure to visit the main Fertile Crescent website to see information about other programs!

The Fertile Crescent: Gender, Art, and Society has been made possible through support from the National Endowment for the Arts; the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; the Violet Jabara Charitable Trust; the Artis Foundation, which helped fund the participation of the five Israeli artists in the exhibition, Ofri Cnaani, Ayana Friedman, Efrat Kedem, Sigalit Landau, and Ariane Littman; and the Harris Finch Foundation. Several programs were made possible by a grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. In addition, Fertile Crescent partner institutions provided both financial and in-kind contributions, as did Basem and Muna Hishmeh, along with other individuals. The Rutgers University Institute for Women and Art is a unit of the Rutgers Office of the Associate Vice President for Academic and Public Partnerships in the Arts and Humanities and a member institute of the Rutgers Institute for Women’s Leadership.  The IWA receives General Program Support from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

{The library's participation in the project has come to a close: see below for information about the exhibit and programs we hosted!}


As a component of the Fertile Crescent project, the library hosted an exhibit entitled Borderlands from October 9 until December 3, 2012.

Linda Bock-Hinger on a camel Susan Falciani is the curator of the Borderlands exhibit, which featured various work by local artists Linda Bock-Hinger, Sheetal Bagewadi, Reem Hussein, Natalia Kadish, Mediha Sandhu, Ela Shah and Tamara Woronczuk. You can find more information about the artists on the Fertile Crescent website's artists page.

This exhibit was on display in the library's Community Room, which was open to the public during certain hours: see the viewing schedule here. Please contact the Reference Desk (732.745.5108 ext.20 or if you have any questions.

{Photograph of Linda Bock-Hinger crossing the Sahara Desert by camel, provided by the artist herself.}

See below for details about events the library also presented in conjunction with the Fertile Crescent project.

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In addition to hosting the Borderlands exhibit, the library presented the following accompanying programs, all free and open to everyone of the age 13 and up:

*The two movie screenings originally scheduled for November 3 & 4 were rescheduled (due to Superstorm Sandy).

Dr. Fahkri HaghaniSaturday, November 10
Women, Film, and Storytelling in the Middle East workshop.
Women, Film, and Storytelling in the Middle East is a hands-on film-making program, for high school students and interested adults, led by Dr. Fahkri Haghani. The necessary equipment will be provided to attendees during the workshop!
Dr. Haghani is an Interdisciplinary Scholar at the Rutgers Center for Middle Eastern Studies. She specializes in exploring the intersection of gender and women’s rights, political arts, and social as well as intellectual history in Islamic cultures.
To see more about Dr. Haghani, see here.
2pm in the Community Room.

Miss RepresentationSunday, November 18*
Miss Representation viewing & discussion.

Miss Representation is a film (90 mins.) exploring how mainstream media contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence. This documentary challenges the media’s disparaging portrayals of women and girls, which promulgate female stereotypes that diminish women’s ability to have value and power or achieve leadership roles in society. To see more about Miss Representation, view its website.
After the film is over, a librarian will lead a discussion for all interested participants.
2pm in the Community Room.

Lady Kul El ArabSunday, November 25*
Lady Kul El Arab viewing & discussion.
Lady Kul El Arab is a film (60 mins.) about Duah Fares, a model from the Druze community in Israel, who entered the Miss Israel beauty contest in 2007. The Druze are a distinct Arabic-speaking, non-Jewish, ethnic minority living in the Golan Heights. Duah withdrew from the contest following threats for dishonoring her community and her family. This Israeli documentary explores violence against women in the Middle East. For more about Lady Kul El Arab, view this website.
After the film is over, a librarian will lead a discussion for all interested participants.
2pm in the Community Room.

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In order for the exhibit to be open to the public, the library organized a group of volunteers to staff a table in the Carl T. Valenti Community Room for certain hours. The volunteers generally act as exhibit docents: Main responsibilities include disseminating information about the exhibit to visitors and signing in visitors to view the exhibit. Docents are not required to answer questions related to the intellectual content of the exhibition, although engaging in dialogue is very welcome.

*The library would like to thank everyone who volunteered their time to make the exhibit possible!*

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Regular Hours: Mon-Thurs: 10am-9pm; Fri & Sat: 10am-5pm; Sunday*: 1-5pm (*except in Summer)