The Boghossian Foundation – Villa Empain is exceptionally closed on Thursday 20 June. We thank you for your understanding and look forward to welcoming you from Friday 21 June, until 8 September for the visit of the exhibition Josef and Anni Albers.

The Boghossian Foundation promotes and stimulates intercultural dialogue through several conference cycles. Through international meetings, study days, literary evenings, debates on geopolitical issues and discussions of artists, our guests propose avenues for reflection. Artists, curators, poets, philosophers, writers and experts, explore the links between East and West or give us the keys to reading their work.

Josef and Anni Albers, iconic couple of modernism


10 april 2024

The Boghossian Foundation organised an inaugural evening dedicated to the Josef and Anni Albers exhibition. Nicholas Fox Weber, President of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, along with exhibition curators Julia Garimorth and Edouard Detaille, explained the key aspects of the exhibition about this legendary couple and pioneers of modernism.

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The temptation of Mars: war and peace in the 21st Century


28 march 2024

Ghassan Salamé, former Minister of Culture in Lebanon, diplomat, and university professor, discussed his latest book, an unprecedented look at the world stage, with Christophe Ayad, reporter for Le Monde, at a special evening at the Villa Empain.

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2022-2024: where does the war in Ukraine stand?

with Jean lopez and michel goya

29 february 2024

Where did the war in Ukraine stand two years after Russian aggression? The Boghossian Foundation was pleased to welcome two war specialists, Jean Lopez and Michel Goya, to discuss the subject.

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Armenia: a time-tested identity



As part of the exhibition Armenia. Contemplating the sacred, Bernard Coulie, a doctor in philology and oriental history, and an immense specialist in Armenia, seeks to define Armenian identity by drawing on a millennia-long history and current events.


Session de dédicaces avec Guillaume Durand

Armenia: a time-tested identity

with bernard coulie

6 february 2024

As part of the exhibition Armenia. Contemplating the sacred, Bernard Coulie, a doctor in philology and oriental history, and an immense specialist in Armenia, seeks to define Armenian identity by drawing on a millennia-long history and current events.

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Armenia, a millenia-old heritage at risk and new technologies


10 NOVEMBER 2023

On the occasion of the exhibition Armenia. Contemplating the sacred, the Boghossian Foundation invites Yves Ubelmann to reveal the behind-the-scenes footage from the films shown in the exhibition during a talk at the Villa Empain.

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Silent Wars. Embargoes and blockades in the Middle East from 1948 to the present day


26 OCTOBER 2023

Geopolitics expert Carole André-Dessornes sheds light on the concepts of embargo, blockade, siege and boycott, and questions the effectiveness of these types of sanctions.

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Nagorno-Karabakh, a new Armenian tragedy and a new crime against humanity in Europe


20 OCTOBER 2023

The Boghossian Foundation is organising a conference with Bruno Cathala, French magistrate, former first Registrar of the International Criminal Court, Vincent Duclert, historian and genocide specialist, Anita Khachaturova, who conducted extensive field research in Nagorno-Karabakh after the 2020 war, and Gaïdz Minassian, a journalist with Le Monde.

What is Iranian culture?



Art and religion historian Patrick Ringgenberg sheds light on Iranian culture during a lecture at the Villa Empain.

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Who is Zelensky?



As part of an evening dedicated to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Ariane Chemin, senior reporter at Le Monde, traces the career of a president turned war leader.

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The Great Confrontation: how is Putin waging war on our democracies?

with raphaël glucksmann

28 june 2023

During an evening dedicated to his latest book, French essayist Raphaël Glucksmann proposes some thoughts on the confrontation between Putin and the European leaders.

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Writing in times of revolution(s)

with a. laila, maryam madjidi and aurore vaucelle

27 may 2023

Iranian authors and poets A. Laila and Maryam Madjidi invite you to discover writing in view of their country, and evoke the notion of refuge and language during an evening around Persian literature.

Armenian genocide: Who was Talaat Pasha?

with hans-lukas kieser and gaïdz minassian

23 may 2023

The historian Hans-Lukas Kieser recalls the former interior minister and Grand Vizier Talaat Pasha and traces back the history of the Armenian genocide and the beginnings of modern Turkey through his eyes.

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At the heart of a collection of artists’ jewellery

Art talk with diane venet and aurore vaucelle

6 april 2023

Diane Venet tells the fascinating story of her collection of artists’ jewellery. From Kapoor to Braque, via Vasarely, Stella, Arman, César and Dali, they are always the result of an encounter. In conversation with the journalist Aurore Vaucelle, Diane Venet looks back at the stories and love affairs that are at the heart of each piece of jewellery.

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Is Strategic Europe well under way?

with bernard guetta, françois-xavier bellamy, pierre haroche and gaïdz minassian

21 march 2023

The Boghossian Foundation welcomes MEPs Bernard Guetta and François-Xavier Bellamy, as well as researcher Pierre Haroche for a debate around strategic Europe in an ever changing world.

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One year ago the war in Ukraine…

with ioulia shukan and gaïdz minassian

19 january 2023

Almost a year after Russia invaded Ukraine, where did we stand exactly? Ukraine expert Ioulia Shukan sheds light on this war that is shaking up the world order.

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Déjeunons sur l’herbe

a conversation over edouard manet with guillaume durand

13 january 2023

In conversation with Aurore Vaucelle, a journalist at La Libre Belgique, Guillaume Durand discusses his latest work Déjeunons sur l’herbe, for which he won the Prix Renaudot Essai, and the modernity of the prominent painter, the brutality with which his work was received, and his heritage.

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How can Lebanon overcome its successive crises?

with ziad majed and gaïdz minassian

24 november 2022

Regime crises, political crisis, economic crisis, social crisis, Lebanon is slipping year after year into chaos. And yet, the Lebanese still have hope and are determined to raise their heads to get the country out of its state of decay. To discuss this, the Boghossian Foundation had the pleasure of inviting the political scientist Ziad Majed, Middle East specialist with a specific focus on  Lebanon and Syria, in dialogue with Gaïdz Minassian.

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François Hollande

conversation about the book ‘bouleversements’

10 november 2022

The Boghossian Foundation welcomed François Hollande for an exceptional interview followed by a book signing with the public. On 24 February 2022, Russia launched a war of aggression against Ukraine, fostering the emergence of a new world and pitting democracies against autocracies. François Hollande drew all the consequences for Europe and the world from this global upheaval.

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What future for relations between Russia and the European Union?

with isabelle facon and gaïdz minassian

13 october 2022

Seven months after the start of Putin’s war against Ukraine, the fighting continues and the risk of getting bogged down is growing, with significant strategic and economic consequences for the whole of Europe. What can Russians and Europeans do to restore peace on the continent? To discuss this, the Boghossian Foundation was pleased to welcome Isabelle Facon, deputy director of the Foundation for Strategic Research and specialist in Russia, in dialogue with Gaïdz Minassian.

Michel Polak, an architect of wonder

with BENOÎT SCHOONBROODT, thierry henrard, cécile dubois and thomas greck

13 june 2022

As part of the exhibition Michel Polak, technology and craftsmanship, an architecture of wonder, the curators Stéphanie De Blieck and Manon Magotteaux organised a study day that combines architecture, history and urbanism at the Boghossian Foundation. Specialists Benoît Schoonbroodt, Thierry Henrard, Cécile Dubois, and Thomas Greck will dive into the technicality and elegance of Michel Polak’s architecture.

listen to the lecture ‘Michel Polak’s achievements in Montreux’ with benoît schoonbroodt

Listen to the lecture ‘A brief history of the Residence Palace and the challenges of restoring its architecture’ with thierry henrard

listen to the lecture ‘Polak and Empain: the Home of Sainte-Ode and the Castle of Celly’ with cÉcile dubois

Listen to the lecture ‘Polak and Empain: the Home of Sainte-Ode and the Castle of Celly’ with thomas greck

Which era of geopolitics are we entering?

with alain frachon and gaïdz minassian

14 june 2022

War in Ukraine, chaos in the Middle East, the Covid-19 pandemic, US-China rivalries, how can international relations evolve at a time of major challenges for peace and the well-being of humanity? The Boghossian Foundation was pleased to welcome Alain Frachon, editorialist at Le Monde and author of the book Un Autre Monde, l’ère des dictateurs to decipher these issues with Gaïdz Minassian.

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Francois Hollande présente son

The Night of the Villa

a night of debates on europe, the east and the world

12 may 2022

The Boghossian Foundation organised a night of debates on Europe, the East and the world, a journey of ideas and exchanges on international and strategic news through three key lectures. Ten experts analyzed the situation in Europe and the Middle East, the war in Ukraine, and the international and strategic news. With Sven Biscop, Antoine Bondaz, Hamit Bozarslan, Alexandra Goujon,  Pierre Haroche, Tatiana Kastouéva-Jean, Thomas Lindemann, Mario Telò, and Clément Therme.

Listen to the lEcture ‘Can strategic Europe project itself to the East?

listEn to the lecture ‘Near East, Africa, Black Sea, India-Pacific, can we talk about a European strategic leadership?

listen to the lecture ‘Iran, China, Russia, what future with Europe?

The Righteous Turks, a very long silence

Film screening followed by a debate with Laurence d’Hondt, Romain Fleury, Grégoire Jakhian, and gaïdz minassian

21 april 2022

The Boghossian Foundation commemorated the Armenian genocide of 1915 with an evening dedicated to the Righteous Turks. The documentary The Righteous Turks, a very long silence tells the story of the Turks who, faced with orders to massacre, decided to disobey, often at the risk of their own lives. Descendant of an Armenian family saved by the Righteous, the narrator and director Romain Fleury, goes in search of these forgotten heroes to exhume these stories of mutual aid from both sides of the tragedy. The screening was followed by a conversation.


The role of France in the genocide of the Tutsi

lecture With Vincent Duclert and Gaïdz Minassian

17 march 2022

Did France play a particular role in the 1994 genocide of the Tutsi in Rwanda? How can this role be defined? “France is not an accomplice to this crime against humanity, but its responsibilities are heavy and overwhelming” concludes the report of the Rwanda mission led by historian Vincent Duclert and submitted to French President Emmanuel Macron on 26 March 2021. Vincent Duclert, a specialist of genocides, was invited by the Boghossian Foundation to decipher these dark years with Gaïdz Minassian.


Is religion back in the world ?

lecture with delphine allès and gaïdz minassian

3 february 2022

Is religion back in the world? In recent decades most observers have noted a return of religion to international affairs. Is this really the case? Is God back in the organisation of the world and the daily life of populations? Delphine Allès, professor of political science and director of the international relations department at the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (Inalco), was the guest of the Boghossian Foundation during a conference moderated by Gaïdz Minassian.


Is Lebanon a failed state ?

A Lecture with jihane sfeir and gaïdz minassian

9 December 2021

Lebanon has a new government, but the country is falling deeper into crisis. On the 22nd of November, the day the country famed for its cedar trees should be celebrating its independence, Lebanese people are struggling to have faith in their future. Why has Lebanon not been able to break free from this spiral of chaos? Is Lebanon a failed state? Historian Jihane Sfeir, chair of the Arab world at the Institute for European Studies at the ULB in Brussels, speaks about these issues during an evening lecture with Gaïdz Minassian.

Beirut: remains of martyrs, safeguarding and reconstruction

A Lecture with yves ubelmann and joyce azar

2 December 2021

As part of the opening of the exhibition How will it end? , the Boghossian Foundation organised a lecture that reveals what goes on behind the scenes of the images of Beirut. Produced by the Iconem team during an emergency mission at the request of the UNESCO, the film shown exposes the extent of the damages caused by the explosions of the 4th of August 2020 and what remains of the bled dry city. The Founder of Iconem Yves Ubelmann unveils, in a conversation with Joyce Azar, what goes on behind the production of the films, from the day following the events, his experience in the field, and the values of these images that are essential tools for deciphering the disaster.

Lettre à la génération qui va tout changer

A Lecture with raphaël glucksmann

10 november 2021

The Boghossian Foundation welcomed Raphaël Glucksmann for an evening at the Villa Empain, during which the novelist reflected on his latest book Lettre à la génération qui va tout changer (Letter to the generation that will change everything), and the causes that drive him. Raphaël Glucksmann is the author of several bestsellers, including Génération gueule de bois (2015) ; Notre France (2016) and Les enfants du Vide (2018). He is the co-founder of the ‘Place Publique’ political party and a member of the European parliament. With over 600 000 followers on Instagram – mostly young people – he sparked a wave of citizen awareness on Uighur concerns.

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Is Joe Biden’s America back?

A Lecture with Alexandra de Hoop Scheffer and Gaïdz Minassian

21 October 2021

In 2020, American voters turned the page on Trump and elected democratic candidate Joe Biden to the presidency. Does this step towards a ‘return to normalcy’ meant the end of American disengagement on a global scale as the US withdraws from Afghanistan after 20 years of war? Alexandra de Hoop Scheffer, general director in France of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, will enlighten us on the United States’ foreign policy, with Gaïdz Minassian, journalist at Le Monde.

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Icons and contemporary art

AN Art talk with Henri Loyrette and Wim Delvoye

4 October 2021

The Boghossian Foundation organized an evening dedicated to the exhibition Icons with curator Henri Loyrette, art historian, former Director of the Musée d’Orsay and President-Director of the Musée du Louvre, and the artist Wim Delvoye. Together, our guests discussed the notion of icon, from its religious dimension to its contemporary definition, and the artistic and cultural impact it has had throughout the ages.

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The September 11th attacks, 20 years later

A lecture with Christophe Ayad and Gaïdz Minassian

9 september 2021

After the September 11th 2001 terrorist attacks carried out by Al-Qaeda against the United States, the world began a ‘War on Terror’. Has this war been won? What conclusions can we draw from the fight against terrorist threats, twenty years after the American tragedy? Public policies have never focused on safety as much as they do today, and yet Jihadist terrorism has become more and more globalised, with ongoing conflicts across the Near East, Central Asia, the Sahel and Europe. Is this not paradoxical? Christophe Ayad, senior reporter and leading contributor on terrorism at Le Monde, discussed this complex topic during a lecture facilitated by Gaïdz Minassian.

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Some perfumes diffuse slowly

A literary evening with Ryoko Sekiguchi and Charif Majdalani, in conversation with Soraya Amrani

17 June 2021

The Midis de la Poésie and the Boghossian Foundation honoured Lebanon with a literary evening. Japanese poet and writer Ryoko Sekiguchi and Lebanese author Charif Majdalani discussed their recent works which explore with extreme sensitivity the catastrophic explosions that hit Beirut on the 4th of August 2020: 961 heures à Beyrouth (et 321 plats qui les accompagnent) (P.O.L. 2021) et Beyrouth, journal d’un effondrement (Actes Sud 2020).

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The Kurds, a model for the region?

An online lecture with Rhodi Mellek and Thomas Renard, led by Paul Germain

20 May 2021

The Kurds have had a dream for a long time of a democratic and egalitarian society in Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan). Could this project be a model for the region? What about the difficult issue of the repatriation of Belgian children held in the Roj and al-Hol camps? The lecture with Rhodi Mellek, the President of the Kurdish news agency Hawar News, and Thomas Renard, a Senior Researcher at the Egmont Institute was moderated by Paul Germain.

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Armenia, between survival and reconstruction

An online lecture with Vicken Cheterian and Gaïdz Minassian

20 April 2021

After the military defeat of November 2020, Armenia is painfully licking its wounds. New test for this nation or strategic turning point for a state which needs to find its place in the region? On the 106th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, how do Armenia and Armenians see the future of their homeland and their role in the world? To find out, the Boghossian Foundation welcomed Vicken Cheterian, a political scientist and specialist in the Caucasus and the Middle East, for an online lecture hosted by Gaïdz Minassian.

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Aleppo, from cosmopolitan city to disaster

An online lecture with Dr.Philip Mansel and Anne-Sophie Bruyndonckx

18 march 2021

Through more than 100 mostly unpublished illustrations, dating from the 16th to the 20th century, Dr. Philip Mansel demonstrated how cosmopolitanism was the foundation of the prosperity of Aleppo, a crossroads of caravans and cultures.

This lecture led by Anne-Sophie Bruyndonckx, journalist at RTBF, was programmed in the frame of the exhibition Aleppo, a 5.000 year journey at the Boghossian Foundation.

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In which direction, Lebanon?

An online lecture with Myriam Benraad and Gaïdz Minassian

4 march 2021

The country of the Cedars has been accumulating crises for nearly 50 years. After fifteen years of civil war, Lebanese alternate between hope and chaos, rebirth and collapse. Political crisis, economic crisis, social crisis, how are the Lebanese coping with the trials of domestic policy (a broken system, corruption of the elites) and foreign policy (neighbouring wars, jhadist terrorism, destabilization)?
Political scientist Myriam Benraad, specialist in the contemporary Arab world, discussed the subject during a conversation with Gaïdz Minassian.

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The Armenians, an abandoned people?

An online lecture with Antoine Agoudjian and Paul Germain

24 February 2021

The war ended on 9 November in Nagorno-Karabakh with a ceasefire in which Azerbaijan, supported by Turkey, is the winner. The Armenians are the big losers. As always?
Returning from a three-month stay in Nagorno-Karabakh, photographer Antoine Agoudjian commented on the striking pictures he had taken there during a conversation with journalist Paul Germain.

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What will Biden’s America look like?

An online lecture with Annick Cizel, moderated by Gaïdz Minassian

20 january 2021

Joe Biden was sworn in as President of the United States on 20 January 2021. Elected at the head of the leading world power, was the 46th president of the United States announce a return to normal after four years of Donald Trump’s unraveling of the international system? China, Iran, NATO, Middle East, relations with Europe … this full agenda was discussed by historian Annick Cizel, specialist in American foreign policy and Gaïdz Minassian.

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Aleppo, Conservation and New Technologies

An online lecture with Yves Ubelmann, moderated by Soraya Amrani

14 january 2021

As part of the exhibition Aleppo, a 5,000 year journey, Yves Ubelmann took us behind the scenes of this exceptional project during a conversation with Soraya Amrani. This immersive and exclusively digital exhibition dedicated to Aleppo, designed by the teams of Iconem, reveals several major monuments of the millennial city. Yves Ubelmann reviewed the history of multi-millennial Aleppo and took us to the city today, with its martyred vestiges of Syrian architecture.

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Nagorno-Karabakh: lessons from a global war

An online lecture with Gaïdz Minassian, moderated by Céline Martel

15 December 2020

After 44 days of war in Karabakh, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia signed a ceasefire on 9 November 2020. At the end of these weeks of fierce fighting, Baku won a military victory, Moscow imposed its leadership in the region, Ankara made its appearance in this conflict zone while Yerevan was forced to accept a military defeat. Gaïdz Minassian discussed this burning topic with Céline Martel, journalist at LN24.

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Aleppo, Conservation and New Technologies

A Lecture with Yves Ubelmann

17 september 2020

As part of the exhibition Aleppo, a 5,000 year journey, Yves Ubelmann took us behind the scenes of this exceptional project. This immersive and exclusively digital exhibition dedicated to Aleppo, designed by the teams of Iconem, reveals several major monuments of the millennial city. Yves Ubelmann reviewed the history of multi-millennial Aleppo and took us to the city today, with its martyred vestiges of Syrian architecture.

Where is Erdogan’s Turkey going?

A Lecture with Ahmet Insel, moderated by Gaïdz Minassian

12 March 2020

Turkish economist, politician, publisher and journalist Ahmet Insel, who is committed to freedom in Turkey and the world, gave an analysis of President Erdogan’s policies. The latter imposes his authoritarianism on all the institutions of the country and Turkish society. Repression at home, interventions abroad (Iraq, Syria, Libya), the policy of the national-Islamist Erdogan is part of the return of the power status of the former Ottoman Empire with the year 2023, the date of birth of the Republic of Turkey, on the horizon.

The fight against corruption and the state of justice in Lebanon

A Lecture with Mayssam Noueiri, moderated by Maroun Labaki

24 January 2020

On the occasion of her conference at the European Parliament, Mayssam Noueiri, former magistrate and Director General of the Lebanese Ministry of Justice, addressed the issue of the fight against corruption and analysed the state of justice in Lebanon, at a time when the country is experiencing major social and political challenges. With Maroun Labaki, journalist at Le Soir.

Understanding Trump’s diplomacy

A Lecture with Robert Malley, moderated by Gaïdz Minassian

13 January 2020

As the United States enters a major election year, incumbent President Donald Trump has spent four years transforming U.S. foreign policy, ignoring his country’s multilateral commitments and favouring traditional alliances. What are the credentials of the U.S. president on his way to a second term? How can we understand his diplomacy? Robert Malley, director of the International Crisis Group (ICG) and former adviser to Presidents Clinton and Obama, gave his analysis during a conference moderated by Gaïdz Minassian, journalist at Le Monde.

Edward Said, the novel of his thoughts

A Literary Evening with Dominique Eddé, moderated by Soraya Amrani

21 November 2019

Novelist and essayist Dominique Eddé was invited by the Boghossian Foundation for an evening devoted to Edward Said, the pre-eminent Palestinian-American author, academic, literary theorist and critic. Through his imagination and his life, she evoked Said’s thought, his intellectual choices, their ambivalence and mix, the way he invented a style where oral and written meet, classicism and eccentricity, history, music and current affairs.

Forced Displacements

A Reading with Oliver Rohe

14 November 2019

On the occasion of the opening of the exhibition Abandoned Habitats of Beirut, the Boghossian Foundation welcomed Oliver Rohe for a reading of his text Forced Displacements.

Born to a German father and a Lebanese mother, the writer grew up in Beirut before settling in France in 1990. This new account of the flight of several civilians during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in the summer of 1982 was for him an opportunity to address the question of truth in the representation of war.

Are humanitarian wars justified?

A Lecture with Rony Brauman, moderated by Gaïdz Minassian

24 October 2019

Former president of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) France, Rony Brauman questioned interventionist forces that, in the form of mediation by a power or a multilateral coalition, justify their operations in the name of morality and humanitarian urgency. Since the end of the Cold War, UN or humanitarian interventions have multiplied on the five continents. Has the return of the “just war” to the strategic debate made it possible to evolve in a more stable and peaceful world or does it result in operations that are sometimes illegal but not illegitimate, sometimes hasty and often never-ending? Returning to the legitimacy of these operations, Brauman gave some keys to understanding during this evening.

The Novel of Heliopolis

A Lecture by Amélie d’Arschot

5 June 2019

A descendant of Boghos Nubar Pacha, Amélie d’Arschot, historian and lecturer, brought to life the fabulous adventure of the construction from 1905 of a new city in the middle of the desert: Heliopolis.

In the course of her account, she invited the public to follow in the footsteps of the captain of industry Edouard Empain and his associate, Boghos Nubar, the son of the great Egyptian minister.

Prendre refuge

A Literary Evening with Zeina Abirached, moderated by David Courrier

15 May 2019

The Boghossian Foundation organizes, in co-production with Les midis de la Poésie and La Charge du Rhinocéros, evenings devoted to the literature of the Arab world, between Maghreb and Mashrek. The second part of this Literary Salon was devoted to Zeina Abirached, illustrator and author of graphic novels, including Prendre refuge, which she presented to the public during this evening.

The cultural history of Arab immigration to Europe, 20th-21st centuries

A Lecture by Coline Houssais

8 May 2019

The Arab world continues to be the object of fantasies in Europe as an “other” that is both homogeneous and mysterious. Yet these two regions have influenced each other over the centuries, to the point where they appear to be constitutive of their respective identities.

After having evoked during a first conference the complexity of exchanges from the Renaissance to the nineteenth century, Coline Houssais returned to the Boghossian Foundation to address the second part of The Cultural History of Arab Immigration in Europe and to shed light on the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.


A Study Day with Luc Gabolde, Christian Cannuyer, Robert Solé

29 April 2019

As part of Heliopolis, City of the Sun, the curators of the exhibition Marie-Cécile Bruwier and Florence Doyen designed a study day that blends architecture, history and urban planning at the Boghossian Foundation.

For one day, Luc Gabolde, Christian Cannuyer and Robert Solé, three specialists on Egypt, enlightened us on the history of this ancient city, cradle of the new city created by the industrialist Édouard Empain.

Are the Empires back?

A Lecture with Gabriel Martinez-Gros, moderated by Gaïdz Minassian

11 April 2019

The Boghossian Foundation received the historian Gabriel Martinez-Gros who, in conversation with the journalist Gaïdz Minassian, discussed the risk of a return to the imperial model.

In this post-Cold War world, the logic of nation-states is increasingly challenged by a set of local or global factors. Will nations succeed in overcoming these challenges while maintaining the grid of states, or will it be necessary to consider other forms of political integration such as imperial domination that is resurfacing here and there through authoritarian regimes with an Empire past?

The Villa Empain, masterpiece of Brussels Art Deco

A Lecture by Cécile Dubois

4 April 2019

As part of the exhibition Flamboyant, an art of living in the 1930s, Cécile Dubois evoked the relationship between project owners and architects in Brussels Art Deco circles. In particular, she developed the link between Louis Empain and “his” architects, Michel Polak and Antoine Courtens in particular, who gave rise to projects that differed greatly from one another, including the sumptuous Villa Empain.

Fatah-Hamas, is reconciliation possible?

A Lecture with Leila Seurat, moderated by Gaïdz Minassian

21 February 2019

Leila Seurat, an expert on the Middle East, was addressing the issue of reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas, the two leaders of the Palestinian liberation movement.

Since its victory in the 2006 Palestinian legislative elections in Gaza, Hamas has ruled the enclave and has been clashing not only with Israel and the international community but also with Fatah, the main political force of the Palestinian Authority. More than a decade after that victory, Fatah and Hamas have still not managed, if not to conclude a national peace, then at least to reconcile with a view to relaunching the peace process.

Children of the Void, from individualistic impasse to citizen awakening

A Lecture and book signing with Raphaël Glucksmann, moderated by Emmanuelle Danblon

15 February 2019

Crisis of democracy, decline of social mix, ecological disaster, populist insurrection… neoliberal software leads us into the abyss. Glucksman questioned: “If we are not to lose everything, we have to get out of individualism and navel-gazing. If our elders lived in a world saturated with dogmas and myths, we were born into a meaningless society. Their mission was to break chains, ours will be to rebuild ties and reinvent the common. Ways exist to break the impasse. Will we know how to use them?”

The stakes of a concrete metaphor: the link and the caesura

A Round Table with M’hani Alaoui, Rita El Khayat, Nadia Sabri and Marko Tocilovac

22 January 2019

Curator Nadia Sabri proposed a return and an opening on the theme of link and caesura in the exhibition Of links and exiles that she presented at the Villa Empain.

Around this round table, the psychoanalyst Ghita El Khayat and the anthropologists M’hani Alaoui and Marko Tocilovac were invited to shed light on the ambivalence between link and caesura, as well as on the narration of the artistic project as a way out in the face of the reality of exile and the difficulty of the link in this context.

Iran, how to make peace with this regional power?

A Lecture with Thierry Kellner, Yann Richard & Mohammad-Reza Djalili, moderated by Gaïdz Minassian

13 December 2018

Three specialists on Iran enlightened us on current issues.

Does the withdrawal of the United States’ signature from the multilateral agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme  reshuffle the cards in the Middle East? A new source of destabilization is looming and heralds further tensions in a region that is not lacking in the seeds of violence and social pathologies. What are the options on the table?

Lebanese literary evenings

With Soraya Amrani, Hoda Barakat, Roda Fawaz, Alexandre Najjar and Marwan Zoueini

20 and 21 November 2018

On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of Lebanon’s independence, the Boghossian Foundation honoured Lebanese literature and received Hoda Barakat and Alexandre Najjar during two evenings that mixed poetry, contemporary literature and music. During the first evening, Alexander Najjar, Khalil Gibran’s biographer, immersed us in the work of the Lebanese poet. Marwan Zoueini inaugurated the evening with a composition dedicated to the poet, played on the oud. Roda Fawaz declaimed excerpts from his work. The next evening, Hoda Barakat, in conversation with Soraya Amrani, enlightened us on the vivacity of the rich and abundant Lebanese literary scene.

The ‘returnees’ from Syria and Iraq: between threat and challenge of reintegration

A Lecture with Thomas Renard, moderated by Thomas Gadisseux

7 November 2018

Who are these ‘returnees’ from Syria and Iraq who fought alongside jihadist forces? How are they followed on their return? How do they reintegrate? Do they pose a threat? Thomas Renard, Senior Researcher at the Egmont Institute, shared his expertise on these sensitive and difficult questions with Thomas Gadisseux, political journalist at RTBF.

What future for the Palestinians?

A Lecture by Henry Laurens, moderated by Gaïdz Minassian

25 October 2018

At a time when the peace process with Israel seems blocked, when the Israeli government has adopted a controversial law on the “nation-state of the Jewish people”, when the United States is multiplying measures against the Palestinians (transfer of their embassy in Jerusalem and cutting off food supplies to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees), where is the Palestinian question in this political-diplomatic fog? Historian Henry Laurens, holder of the “Contemporary History of the Arab World” chair at the Collège de France, addressed this thorny question at the Boghossian Foundation.

L’Espoir à l’arraché

A Literary Evening with Abdellatif Laâbi in conversation with Soraya Amrani

3 October 2018

The Boghossian Foundation organizes evenings devoted to the literatures of the Arab World in co-production with Les midis de la Poésie and La Charge du Rhinocéros.

The pre-eminent Moroccan poet Abdellatif Laâbi inaugurated the cycle and, with L’Espoir à l’arraché, he is waging a new battle against this “reign of barbarism” that he has never ceased to defend since his first book, written in the mid-sixties.

The cultural history of Arab immigration to Europe

A Lecture by Coline Houssais

18 September 2018

The Arab world continues to be the object of fantasies in Europe as an “other” that is both homogeneous and mysterious. Yet these two regions have influenced each other over the centuries, to the point where they appear to be constitutive of their respective identities.

From the first cafés of the Renaissance to the orientalist architecture of the 19th century and the emergence of a Euro-Arab music scene, culture is a living witness to continuous exchanges that are much older and more complex than we might think.

Journalism, Politics and Culture

A Lecture with Léa Salamé, moderated by Martin Buxant

15 June 2018

During an evening at the Boghossian Foundation, the journalist Léa Salamé spoke with Martin Buxant, a political journalist with L’Echo and RTL, about his career and the links between journalism, politics and culture in contemporary society.

Father Hamel, Martyr of the Republic

A Lecture and film screening by Alfred de Montesquiou

11 June 2018

A national drama, but also a closed-door event in a peaceful provincial town: the assassination of Father Jacques Hamel remains an attack completely out of the ordinary on the scale of French society. The documentary by Alfred de Montesquiou, a leading reporter for Paris Match, sets out to show how the actors in the drama understand the attack of 26 July 2016 and its consequences.

Falaise de Bâmiyân

An Art Talk with Pascal Convert and Yves Ubelmann, led by Philippe Dagen

31 May 2018

A major work in the Melancholia exhibition, Falaise de Bâmiyân is the result of processes that combine the most contemporary and ancient technologies. The artist Pascal Convert returned to his creation during a free discussion on the current state of monuments in peril, from Mosul to Yerevan, with Yves Ubelmann, founder of ICONEM, and Philippe Dagen, journalist at Le Monde.

The Bâmiyân Valley in Afghanistan is a site at the crossroads of civilizations, particularly famous for its three immense statues of Buddha carved into the depths of cliffs between 300 and 700 AD, and destroyed in 2001 by the Taliban. Pascal Convert’s photographs illustrate this absence and the traces left by it.

Does peace between Israel and Palestine still have a chance?

A Lecture with Elie Barnavi, moderated by Gaïdz Minassian

17 May 2018

After the recognition by the United States of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, is the Israeli-Palestinian peace process definitively blocked? At a time when the Middle East is unable to escape the logic of war, does it make sense to talk about peace between Israelis and Palestinians? Elie Barnavi, historian and diplomat, a committed intellectual known for his open-mindedness, examined this thorny question.

Geert Goiris

An Art Talk led by Sam Steverlynck

2nd May 2018

Liepāja powerfully illustrates the theme of Ruins in the Melancholia exhibition. On the occasion of his presence in the exhibition, the Belgian artist Geert Goiris returned to this photography, his work and his projects during a conversation with Sam Steverlynck, journalist at the daily newspaper De Standaard.

The building is one of the ruins of the Liepãja fortress on the Latvian coast. Built between 1890 and 1906, it is one of the largest fortification projects of Tsarist Russia. The location of the fortress tuend out to be a strategic mistake and it was abandoned in 1908.

The situation of the Kurds in the Middle East

A Lecture with Gérard Chaliand, moderated by Gaïdz Minassian

19 April 2018

Main actors in the war against the organisation Islamic State, the Kurds are today attacked by the Turks in the Afrin region in Syria and by the Iraqi army in southern Iraqi Kurdistan. Has realpolitik regained its rights in the Middle East, while the Kurds are fighting for their independence? As a stateless people, can the Kurds move from the right to exist to the right to self-determination? Gérard Chaliand, geostrategist and specialist in the Kurdish question, was our guest to speak about this.

How will music save the Orient?

A Lecture with André Manoukian, moderated by Gaïdz Minassian

1st February 2018

How through music can the East overcome its convulsions? How can cultural creation reconcile East and West? How jazz and oriental music can be found in harmony and complementarity.

Meeting with the author-composer André Manoukian, on the inter-musical links that bring together styles, cultures and sensitivities, as part of a conference on musical sociology. On the occasion of the release of his latest album, Apatride, André Manoukian introduced us to unknown territories of the musical East in the name of peace and reconciliation between peoples…

David Claerbout

An Art Talk led by Christoph Wiesner

10 January 2018

The Algiers’ Sections of a Happy Moment, the flagship work of the Ways of Seeing exhibition, deciphers an ephemeral moment in a long slide show that unfolds slowly over a musical background. Belgian artist David Claerbout returned to this work and his conception of photography during a conversation with Christoph Wiesner, Artistic Director of Paris Photo.

The German Library Pyongyang

A Book Launch by Sara van der Heide (Sara Sejin Chang)

5 November 2017

The Boghossian Foundation hosted the launch and presentation of the publication The German Library Pyongyang.

The book is produced as an echo to an original initiative of the Goethe Institute in North Korea and is conceived as a means of exchanging on national cultural policy in a post-Cold War and post-colonial era. The author offers a critical look at the parallel histories of Germany and the two Koreas.

Are we entering a neo-national world?

A Lecture with Bertrand Badie and Michel Foucher, moderated by Gaïdz Minassian

19 October 2017

From Brexit to the election of Donald Trump at the head of the United States, from Russian aggression against Ukraine to Beijing’s appetite in the China Sea, from the tension around the issue of migrants to the failures of diplomacy in the Middle East, international news shakes the world order and jostles nation-states. Are these multifaceted political tensions a sign of national revenge? Are we witnessing a reaffirmation of borders by states as a bulwark of protection? Are we witnessing the “return of borders” or, on the contrary, the “end of territories”? After the neo-conservative era, are we experiencing “neo-nationalist fever”?

Two great contemporary thinkers, Bertrand Badie, a politician, and Michel Foucher, a geographer, confronted their points of view on these central questions in order to decipher the evolution of our world and its possible abuses.

Mondialité: Readings

A day of Lectures and happenings with Shumon Basar, Douglas Coupland, Vinciane Despret, Anne-Claire Schmitz, Dirk Snauwaert, agnès b., Manthia Diawara, Isaac Julien & Mark Nash, Rem Koolhaas, Patrick Chamoiseau, Mette Edvardsen, Justin E.H. Smith and Eszter Salamon, presented by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Asad Raza.

9 September 2017

To celebrate the publication of Mondialité, ou les archipels d’Edouard Glissant, publishers Hans Ulrich Obrist and Asad Raza invited artists, writers and thinkers for a day of discussions, readings and performances at the Villa Empain.

The book was published by the Boghossian Foundation as part of the exhibition of the same name. Through texts and images, artists and thinkers were invited to explore Edouard Glissant’s key concepts such as the thought of tremor, creolisation and opacity, inspired by La terre, le feu, l’eau et les vents, Glissant’s poetic anthology.

The Europe of culture in globalisation

A Lecture with Jean-Noël Jeanneney, moderated by Gaidz Minassian

22 June 2017

The powerful changes in world trade, spurred on by new technologies, call for ambitious cultural policies to be developed by Europe: the defence of shared heritage and the strengthening of the conditions for free creation, duration versus instantaneousness, diversity versus uniformity, public intervention against the drunkenness of the market, and a concern for universal influence. Jean-Noël Jeanneney, politician, historian of politics, culture and media, evoked this primordial challenge for the fidelity to a precious and fragile heritage as well as for the blossoming of the next generations.

The novel of Heliopolis

A Lecture and book signing by Amélie d’Arschot

22 May 2017

A descendant of Boghos Nubar Pacha, Amélie d’Arschot, historian and lecturer made us relive this fabulous adventure of the construction of a new city in the middle of the desert a few kilometres from Cairo: Heliopolis.

The captain of industry Édouard Empain joined forces with Boghos Nubar, the son of the great Egyptian minister, to buy the first thousands of hectares. But what were their motives? Where and how did Empain get this ingenious idea?

The genocide of 1915, what are the contemporary repercussions?

A Lecture with Bernard Coulie, Laure Marchand and Vicken Cheterian

26 April 2017

On the occasion of the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, the Boghossian Foundation hosted an afternoon of lectures organized by the Belgian Armenian Committee in partnership with the Armenian General Benevolent Union and the Jewish Secular Community Center.

Speakers Bernard Coulie, Laure Marchand and Vicken Cheterian looked at how the genocide of 1915, long considered an isolated and distant event, has helped to shape history to the present day.


Inaugural Lectures and Performances by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Asad Raza

18 April 2017

The Boghossian Foundation and the curators of the Mondiality exhibition, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Asad Raz,a invited the public to its inauguration during an afternoon and evening of interviews, screenings, poetry and performances.

Speakers and artists: Valerio Adami, Sophia Al Maria, Jacques Coursil, Manthia Diawara, Paul Dujardin, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Justin Kennedy, Ranjana Leyendecker, Raqs Media Collective, Antonio Segui, Sylvie Sema, Mårten Spångberg, Luc Tuymans.

Villa Liminal

A Lecture-performance by Marcos Lutyens

2nd February 2017

The practice of artist Marcos Lutyens focuses on the use of hypnosis to engage the visitor in an embodied experience of art. With Villa Liminal, he invited the public to participate in a performative session of collective hypnosis and to experience liminarity, an altered state between consciousness and unconsciousness.

This event was part of the series of conferences-performances, debates and happenings Embassy of uncertain shores by Nicolas Setari.

Shunga, Japanese erotic engravings

A Lecture-performance by Ana Prvački

1st February 2017

Ana Prvački devoted a lecture-performance to Shunga, which means erotic art in Japanese and refers to the graphic images of the sexual act.

This event was part of the series of lecture-performances, debates and happenings Embassy of uncertain shores, conceived by Nicolas Setari.

Decor, exhibitions and the role of art

An Art Talk with Dorothea von Hantelmann, Jan Mot, and Asad Raza

20 January 2017

Gallery owner Jan Mot joined art historian Dorothea von Hantelmann and Asad Raza, co-curators of the Decor exhibition, in a conversation about the decor, the status of works of art and the social functions of exhibitions in modern societies. The changing nature of the work of art in the 21st century was one of the themes of this conference, which addressed the polemical nature of decoration in contemporary art as well as the power of exhibitions as a format.

Art Zen

A Lecture by Marie Camelbeeck

18 January 2017

The lecture given as part of the Seeing Zen exhibition presented the history and evolution of Zen in the context of Buddhist thought and the history of Japan. Marie Camelbeeck approached Japanese art in the context of its philosophy and multiplicity.

A Buddhist sect that rejected the study of texts in favour of meditation, Zen found fertile ground among Japanese warriors from the thirteenth century onwards. The idea of self-control that it conveys particularly attracted this elite, who did not hesitate to have gardens for meditation created in their homes and to hang monochrome paintings by Zen masters in their alcoves.

When you are the Indian in a country of John Waynes

A Lecture with Rajkamal Kahlon

23 November 2016

The presentation dealt with the criminalization of otherness. Using the War on Terror as a framework, this perpetual war waged by the United States and its allies, Kahlon’s work on the project Blowback attempts to locate the relationship between anthropological portraiture and political violence labelled as terrorism.

This event was part of the series of lecture-performances, debates and happenings Embassy of uncertain shores, conceived by Nicolas Setari, in which artists and researchers were invited to reflect on the upheavals shaking parts of the world.

The Imaginary Museum. Do we need another museum of contemporary art?

A Lecture with Régis Debray, moderated by Nicola Setari

20 October 2016

Following the debate on the future Museum of Contemporary Art in Brussels, the Boghossian Foundation invited the internationally renowned French philosopher and mediologist Régis Debray to share his thoughts on contemporary art and the role of museums today.

This event was part of the series of lecture-performances, debates and happenings Embassy of uncertain shores, conceived by Nicolas Setari, in which artists and researchers were invited to reflect on the upheavals shaking parts of Europe and its close neighbours.

That Art Exhibits | Execute The Few Hundred Sensual and Sentimental Motions That Define Your Limits

A Lecture by Chus Martínez

13 October 2016

During this conference, Chus Martìnez questioned the concept of “museum” as we imagine it. And proposed to go beyond the historical achievements and ideas that have been handed down to us, and to generate a space that goes against our preconceived ideas about culture, and to turn to nature in order to be able to ask questions of race and gender beyond our Western conception of aesthetic experience.

This event was part of the series of lecture-performances, debates and happenings Embassy of uncertain shores, conceived by Nicolas Setar.

Écoutez nos défaites aux éditions

A Lecture and book signing with Laurent Gaudé, hosted by Sophie Creuz

15 September 2016

The writer Laurent Gaudé, winner of the Prix Goncourt, presented his new novel Ecoutez nos défaites, an epic in which four eras of history are intertwined and whose plot unfolds in Beirut. A restless and melancholy novel that notes the inanity of any conquest and proclaims that only humanity and beauty are worth dying for. This exceptional meeting ended with a signing session.

From Iraq to Calais, an update on the situation

A Round Table with Elise Boghossian and Gérard Dubois

Musical introduction by Marwan Zoueini

14 September 2016

The Boghossian Foundation organized a round table discussion on the issue of aid to refugees, whether in countries at war or in Europe.

Gérard Dubois, Mayor of the commune of Pessat-Villeneuve (France), spoke about his experience in hosting 66 refugees in his commune of 550 inhabitants. Elise Boghossian, founder of the association EliseCare, which has been helping refugees for more than ten years in Kurdistan, Iraq and Calais, shared her experience in the field. The composer, concert performer and singer Marwan Zoueini performed her pieces in a duet with Guy Stroobant.

Chrétiens d’Orient, An update on the situation of the people and the heritage

A Round Table with Bernard Coulie, Bernard Heyberger, Jean-François Colosimo and Nicolas Sarkis

9 June 2016

Gathered around the moderator Bernard Coulie, Honorary Rector of the UCL, the speakers of the round table were invited by the Boghossian Foundation to take stock of the situation of Eastern Christians. Bernard Heyberger, Nicolas Sarkis and Jean-François Colosimo proposed some answers on the place given to Christians in the plural cities of the Middle East, from Baghdad, through Lebanon and Syria, to Egypt.

Slavs and Tatars

Lecture-performances cycle

25 May, 15 June, 21 September and 26 October 2016

Focusing on an area east of the former Berlin Wall and west of the Great Wall of China, the practices of the Slavs and Tatars collective include three main activities: publication, exhibitions and lecture-performances. Their work is influenced by a deeply transcultural and playful sense of humour, combining language games, pop culture and cutting-edge transdisciplinary research. In other words, this work re-imagines what art can accomplish.

Presented for the first time in Europe, Slavs and Tatars’ series of four lecture-performances addressed the crisis of modernity on the Eurasian continent – be it via the issues of the quarantining of religiosity, the collective radicalism of crafts, or the legacy of the Enlightenment in imperialism – through approaches as diverse as language politics, press freedom, and orientalism.

This event was part of the series of conferences-performances, debates and happenings Embassy of uncertain shores, conceived by Nicolas Setari, in which artists and researchers were invited to reflect on the upheavals shaking parts of Europe and its close neighbours.


An Art Talk with Nicola Lees and Asad Raza

13 May 2016

On the occasion of the opening of the Répétition (Rehearsal) exhibition, the Boghossian Foundation organized at the Villa Empain a conversation between the co-curators Nicola Lees and Asad Raza, Artistic Director of the Foundation.

Heritage of Oriental painting in contemporary abstract production in Korea

A Lecture by Mael Bellec

20 April 2016

Dansaekhwa, a monochrome painting movement, has often been considered by Korean creators and critics as the first avant-garde on the peninsula that was not an adaptation of Western movements.

The Boghossian Foundation invited Mael Bellec, Curator of Chinese and Korean Arts at the Cernuschi Museum in Paris, to deliver the keys to reading the Dansaekhwa movement, as part of the eponymous exhibition presented at the Villa Empain.

Barbarities in the past, barbarities in the present, barbarities in the future. The eternal beginning again?

A Lecture-debate with Pinar Selek, Eddy Caekelberghs, Grégoire Jahkian and Pierre Mertens, moderated by Bénédicte Monnoye

24 March 2016

The objective of this lecture on the issue of the Armenian genocide was to propose to put ourselves in a position to “analyse the wounds of society in order to be able to heal them” (Pinar Selek), through the voice of different actors of society including the sociologist Pinar Selek, the journalist Eddy Caekelberghs, the lawyer Grégoire Jahkian and the writer Pierre Mertens.

How Korea became modern

A Lecture by Pascal Dayez-Burgeon

17 March 2016

Korea has modernized very quickly, as its industrial success attests. However, this modernity was imposed on it by the Japanese colonizer or the American protector, and it suffered as a result. Dansaekwha reflects this ambivalence, the Korean taste for novelty, the regret of seeing the past fade away and the concern to reincarnate it so as not to lose it. Pascal Dayez-Burgeon, a specialist in the two Koreas, was invited by the Boghossian Foundation to tell the historical context that saw the emergence of the Dansaekhwa movement, the subject of the eponymous exhibition at the Villa Empain.

Climbing the Mountain

A Lecture by Cengiz Çandar and Ted Bogosian

22 June 2015

Armenian and Turkish societies still perceive each other only through the prism of history or on the basis of myths and a lack of knowledge. Any dialogue is thus limited. The Climbing the Mountain programme offered a meeting between two individuals, one from each society, who were invited to have a lively conversation and to talk openly about their ‘personal journey’, evoking historical and political tensions as well as their own point of view on the way forward.

The American-born documentary filmmaker, Ted Bogosian, met with renowned journalist and intellectual Cengiz Çandar.

Byzantium, Baghdad, Toledo, Paris. The translatio studii in the medieval sciences

An International Meeting with Charles Burnett, Michel Cacouros, Mattia Cavagna, Bernard Coulie, Godefroid de Callataÿ, Ahmed Djebbar, Gabriele Ferrario, Maribel Fierro, Miquel Forcada, Paolo Odorico, Agostino Paravicini Bagliani, Daniel König, Baudouin Van den Abeele and Alessandro Vitale Brovarone.

From 6 to 8 May 2015

The Boghossian Foundation played host to an international meeting organized by the ARC Speculum Arabicum (UCL). This colloquium brought together experts in the Arab-Muslim, Byzantine, Latin, Hebrew and Romanesque fields, with the aim of crossing their views on various themes related to the transmission of knowledge in the Middle Ages. It included four conferences and two round tables, one devoted to the transmission of knowledge and the obstacles that affected it, the other to the transmission of texts, libraries and patronage.

The current use of UAVs

A Lecture with Philip Boucher, Philip Boucher, Adam Harvey, Edouard Janssens van der Maelen and Peter van Blyenburgh

17 and 18 March 2015

On the occasion of the Heaven and Hell exhibition. From flying carpets to drones, the Boghossian Foundation organised two evenings of reflection on the current use of drones, strange flying machines subject to a distant authority. Antidotes to international terrorism, remedies to our fears and our sense of insecurity or fashionable toys, we still do not know the global framework and the real extent of their use.

Le Livre des Égyptes

A Lecture with Marie-Cécile Bruwier, Baudouin Decharneux, Claude Obsomer and Florence Quentin

10 March 2015

On the occasion of the publication of the Livre des Égyptes under the direction of Florence Quentin, the Boghossian Foundation organized a meeting bringing together some of the international specialists who contributed to this original and masterful work.

This evening brought together Marie-Cécile Bruwier, art historian and archaeologist, Director of the Royal Museum of Mariemont and specialist in ancient Egypt, Baudouin Decharneux, member of the Royal Academy of Belgium, doctor of philosophy and professor at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Claude Obsomer, doctor of oriental philology and history, professor of Egyptology and Greek language at the Catholic University of Louvain, and Florence Quentin, art and Egyptology historian.

Alain Daniélou: India and the labyrinth of the Universe

A Lecture with Jacques Cloarec, Roger-Philippe Della Noce-Bertozzi, Adrian Navigante and Christopher Gérard

20 January 2015

Although a million is in no way closer to infinity than “one” or “two” or “ten”, it may seem so from the limited point of view of our perceptions, and we may have a more accurate mental picture of the divine when we consider an immense number of different gods than when we seek their unity; for from a certain point of view, the number “one” is the furthest number from infinity. “Alain Daniélou, Hindu Polytheism

The discovering of Alain Daniélou, which the Boghossian Foundation was organizing at the Villa Empain, sought to walk with four guests through the many faces of Indian civilization and the work of Alain Daniélou.

Transmission, sublimation and destruction of the book

A Lecture with Godefroid de Callataÿ, François de Coninck and Roger-Philippe Della Noce-Bertozzi

20 May 2014

On the occasion of the exhibition A book between two stools, a selection of works by 200 artists from the four corners of the world, this meeting proposed a triple narrative reflection on the book.

Based on thematic narratives, the three guests shared their relationship to the book, the experience of the book’s presence in history, social order, the freedom of art and the disciplines of knowledge.

Les périples de la Route bleue

A Conversation with Venus Khoury-Ghata and Jean-Michel Maulpoix

4, 5 and 6 December 2013

As part of the exhibition The Blue Route, presented at the Villa Empain, the Boghossian Foundation organized three evenings of meetings with two poets and writers, Vénus Khoury-Ghata and Jean-Michel Maulpoix.

Born in Lebanon, Vénus Khoury-Ghata is a novelist and poetess, author of an important work that has been awarded several literary prizes, including the Grand Prix de la Poésie de l’Académie française and the Prix Goncourt de la Poésie. Poet and literary critic, Jean-Michel Maulpoix teaches at the University of Paris X, Nanterre. He is the author of numerous prose stories and poems, the most recent collection of which, La Musique inconnue, was published this year by Editions José Corti.

The Turkish Letters of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

Lectures by Amélie d’Arschot

6 December and 12 November 2013

Famous for her Turkish Letters, Lady Montagu discovered Istanbul in 1716 on the arm of her husband who had been appointed English ambassador to negotiate on behalf of King George a lasting peace between the Ottoman Empire and Austria. Free spirit and curious, this young and very erudite aristocrat distinguished herself by learning Turkish and by frequenting the women of the imperial harem. She then fought Western prejudices, describing with virtuosity the Ottoman way of life and culture she discovered during this journey.

With her characteristic precision and passion, Amélie d’Arschot shared her admiration for this enlightened pioneer of the dialogue between East and West.

Memory and image, a look at the Armenian disaster

A Lecture with Marie-Aude Baronian and Mekhitar Garabedian

23 October 2013

If images are supposed to facilitate memory processes, how can we understand those that do not circulate and support any memory? What about the interpretation and visual representations of the Catastrophe? How does the making of images, even fragile ones, displace and resituate the legacy of disappearance? Marie-Aude Baronian, doctor in philosophy and film studies, professor at the University of Amsterdam, and the artist Mekhitar Garabedian enlightened us on the subject.

This conference was organised on the occasion of the publication of the book Mémoire et Image, by Marie-Aude Baronian.

 Bow figures

A Cycle of Lectures given by Pierre Sterckx

1st, 8, 15 and 22 October 2013

Pierre Sterckx is a lecturer, teacher, critic and art historian, a contributor to Guillaume Durand’s L’Objet du scandale and a curator. He is the author of many books, including Cinquante géants de l’art américain, Les plus beaux textes de l’histoire de l’art, Les mondes de Vermeer, Le Devenir-cochon by Wim Delvoye.

Every week during the month of October 2013, he enlightened the public of the Boghossian Foundation on varied and fascinating subjects: Chardin and the Age of Enlightenment, Gilles Deleuze’s philosophy in 10 concepts, Miles Davis: From note to sound, and Andrea Gursky or the planetary network (Breughel, Turner, Pollock).

Reconstructing Memory Dialogue: The Turkish-Armenian Example

A day of international meetings with Sibel Asna, Marie-Aude Baronian, Evelyne de Mevius, François Dermange, Ahmet Insel, Raymond Kévorkian, Henry Laurens, Michel Marian, Guillaume Perrier and Serra Yilmaz

21 September 2013

The Boghossian Foundation organized a day of international meetings on the complexity of the recognition of the Armenian genocide of 1915. The aim of these meetings was to develop the exchange of ideas between researchers, thinkers and creators on this painful issue.

The Book of Whispers

A Lecture by Varujan Vosganian

7 March 2013

The Book of Whispers reconstructs, from the author’s personal and family memory, the tragic experience and destiny of an entire people. The Armenian genocide of 1915, the story of the endless convoys in the desert of Deir-es-Zor, the story of the Armenians who took the road to exile find in these pages a heart-wrenching illustration.

The Book of Whispers is one of the strongest Romanian texts published after the fall of communism and a valuable recovery of the memory and modern history of the Armenians.

Leili Anvar – Song of the birds

A Lecture by Michael Barry

11 December 2012

A masterpiece of Persian literature and a mystical epic of the 12th century, The Song of the Birds of Attâr is the poetic expression of a universal initiatory quest, that of Love, Truth and Unicity.

The lecture marked the publication, at the Editions Diane de Sellers, of the Song of the Birds, illustrated by 200 illustrations from the most beautiful manuscripts of Eastern Islam, from the banks of the Bosphorus to the banks of the Ganges, which resonate with the famous poem of Attâr, illuminating and sublimating it in a deep pictorial meditation. Michael Barry, art historian and specialist in the civilizations of the East, has guided, analysed and unveiled this iconographic selection through commentaries presented next to each illustration.

Le manteau arménien of Jean-Jacques Rousseau

A Film screening followed by a Lecture with Raymond Trousseau

23 October 2012

With the collaboration of the Association of Friends of the Musée de Croix de Namur, the Boghossian Foundation organized a preview screening of the film Le manteau arménien of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Armenian Coat) by Patrick Cazals, retracing certain episodes in the life of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. This was followed by a meeting with Professor Raymond Trousson, Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s biographer, who gave a better understanding of his character, sometimes considered as shady. This film allows us to resituate essential moments of an extraordinary work and life, where the unusual, sarcastic humour and drama often coexist.

Egyptomania since the 19th century

Lectures by Michel Aliaga, Eric Gubel, Eugène Warmenbol, Jean-Marcel Humbert, François de Callataÿ, Eric Moinet, Florence Quentin and Anne Van Loo with Fadila Laanan and Diane Hennebert

20, 21 and 22 November 2012

As part of the exhibition Egyptomanias from the 19th Century. Edouard and Cleopatra, presented at the Villa Empain, the Boghossian Foundation invited several specialists on Egypt and its influences on modern Western cultures.

Several themes were discussed during three successive evenings: the roots of modern Egyptomania, the great female figures of Egyptomania, and Egyptian-inspired influences and achievements in architecture and the decorative arts.

Edouard Empain and Boghos Nubar

A Lecture by Amélie d’Arschot

3 October 2012

At the Villa Empain, Amélie d’Arschot Schoonhoven talked about the meeting of two exceptional men: Édouard Empain and Boghos Nubar.

Ambitious, creative, experienced businessmen, this Belgian and this Armenian established in Egypt joined forces around a major project: the creation, in the middle of the desert, of the city of Heliopolis located near Cairo.