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PhD defence Athar Jaber

On Tuesday 29 June, Athar Jaber, artistic researcher at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp and ARIA, defends his doctorate 'Per forza di levare. On sculpture and violence'. 

14:00 online public defence
→ send an email to to receive the link

- Pascal Gielen (chairman Jury, UAntwerp)
- Gert Verschraegen (promotor UAntwerp)
- Ria De Boodt (promotor Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp)
- Nat Muller (external member of the jury, member of the individual doctoral committee)
- Brad Evens (external member of the jury)
- Ilaria Conti (external member of the jury)
- Jorg Kustermans (external member of the jury)


The practice of sculpture, and of stone carving in specific, is related to violence on many levels. First, there is the evident, all to visible violence of the carving act. Secondly, sculptures and monuments play a representative role in service of authorities that govern through policies of systemic violence. And thirdly, stone, the very material with which many sculptures are made of, carries a symbolic value that can be associated to oppressive strategies of structural violence.

In this practice-based PhD research in the Arts, Athar Jaber fuses critical thinking on the topic of violence with his sculptural practice. He elaborates on above mentioned aspects with the intention to address pressing socio-political issues that afflict our contemporary society and the human condition in general.

Furthermore, the research intends to bring attention to the latent semiotic potentiality of stone to stimulate a more conscious use of it in contemporary art practices.

Film presented on 29 June 2021 for the public PhD defence: