Insight with Henry Hemming: The Middle East as Art Project

Talk Tuesday 14th August, 2007

British artist Henry Hemming travels to the Middle East in search of artistic inspiration and finds more than a conflict zone.

Hemming graduated with a first-class degree in history in 2002 and decided to travel to one of the most complex, volatile and culture-rich regions of the world. He set off with a stack of books on Islam, a friend and a truck called Yasmine as his only companions.

Sometimes accused of being an Islamic terrorist, at other times a British spy, Hemming travelled to the drug-infused ski slopes of Iran, the region’s myriad mosques, palaces, army barracks, secret beaches, police cells, nightclubs, torture chambers and artists’ studios. He celebrated the Fourth of July in Saddam’s Republican Palace.

Henry Hemming is the author of Off Screen and Misadventure in the Middle East: travels as tramp, artist and spy.

Moderated by Richard Beeston – Diplomatic editor of The Times.