East++, Institute for New Artistic Inquiry, is an artistic research platform, an alternative think-tank, focuses on contemporary art and culture beyond the Judeo_Christian cultural traditions. East++ aims to foster critical dialogue and actions to deal with fundamentalism(s), nationalism(s), and the rising xenophobia.
Due to ongoing wars, sectarian conflicts, authoritarian regimes, and refugee crises, there has been a continuing academic interest in geographies broadly defined by countries that have a Muslim majority population. When it comes to West Asia (aka the Middle East), North Africa, or Southeast Asia, American universities usually fixated on certain urgent issues, such as wars, conflicts, security, politics, ethnic, and sectarian divides. This is not enough.
East++ is a cross-cultural initiative which takes a constitutive approach to identify and support diverse contemporary artistic and cultural practices, and intends to highlight democratic, secular, and heterodox histories in these regions. Through its multifaceted geography oriented programming and projects, East++ is imagined as a stage for international collaboration, artistic research, and organization.