States, by Alaa Edris

Zied Ben Romdhane, Phosphate 1, from the Phosphate Series. 2014.
Courtesy of the artist. On view at the MEI Art Gallery

A River Flows Downstream explores the concept of a journey along the river into the disparate world of ecosystems in different space and time.

While drifting downstream through the various works on display, the viewer is invited by each of the 8 participating artists into their lived world to witness the shifting ecological and cultural landscapes that they inhabit. Through the lens of each artist, the photography exhibition narrates the diversity and complexity of these ever-changing landscapes interconnected by their reliance on the abundance of water.

As humankind seeks to comprehend the scale of its activities, their impact on the environment, and how environmental changes in turn influence the viability of societies, it must acknowledge the interdependence between the natural world and humanity and how crucial this relationship is to the future of both worlds.

As much as we attempt to steer the navigation of our ships, it is ultimately the flow of the river, its twists and turns that guide us downstream and into an unknown future. 

View works featured in this exhibition

This exhibition is presented in partnership with Tribe Photo Magazine, a non-profit publication and platform focused on documenting photography, film and video from the Arab world.



About the Artists

The exhibition features works by: Hoda Afshar (Iran), Zied Ben Romdhane (Tunisia), Solmaz Daryani (Iran), Reem Falaknaz (U.A.E.), Paul Gorra (Lebanon), Emin Özmen (Turkey), and Roi Saade & Tamara Abdul Hadi (Lebanon/Iraq).

Curator's Tour

Listen to a guided tour of the works featured in "A River Flows Downstream" by curator Roï Saade.

About the Curator

Roï Saade is an interdisciplinary artist interested in the intersectionality between graphic design, photography, and the arts. Saade is interested in finding and creating ways to resist systems of domination and inequality. As a photographer, Saade’s work attempts to investigate individual and collective identity through the documentation of social and personal encounters. Saade is currently a research associate at Access in the Making Research Lab at Concordia University, Montreal. His photography work has been exhibited in museums and galleries in Canada, Jordan, Lebanon and New York.

Learn more

MEI Art Gallery Exhibitions