This display weaves together a rich tapestry of artistic expression from artists born in, or connected to, countries from Iran to Morocco.
With drawings by artists trained everywhere from Paris to Jerusalem, and subject matters ranging from the Syrian uprisings to the burning of the National Library of Baghdad, it offers new views of societies whose challenges are well-known in the press but are little known through the prism of contemporary art.
Featuring around 100 works on paper – from etchings to photographs and artists' books – the majority of works in the exhibition have been collected in the past decade. They highlight topics of gender, identity, history and politics, while also exploring poetic traditions and the intersections between past and present. There is no single narrative but a multiplicity of stories.
To coincide with the exhibition, the British Museum has published a richly illustrated accompanying book of the same name, written by Venetia Porter with Natasha Morris and Charles Tripp.