The Mahmoud Darwish Chair was founded in 2016 by the Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles in a consortium with ULB, UCL and BOZAR, which, since 2018, has been its sole operator.
The purpose of the memorial chair is to disseminate the work and thought of the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish (1941-2008), who is considered as one of the greatest contemporary authors. His poetry, with its recurring concepts such as exile, memory and love, leads to a reflection on human fragility.
The Chair wishes to present contemporary art from the Middle-East and Maghreb. It wants to promote the work of film-makers, directors, choreographers and writers from the region and those living in the diaspora.
By focusing on Palestine as a metaphor for exile, the Chair highlights culture shock. In the current context of mass displacement of populations, lost geography and Arabfuturism are important themes. It aims opening other narratives and critical thoughts on contemporary art in the Arab region and beyond.