Lara Baladi (b.1969, Lebanon) is an internationally recognized Egyptian-Lebanese multi-disciplinary artist, archivist and educator. Her artistic practice spans from photography, video, sculpture to architecture and multi-media installations. Through a process of investigation into archives, her work examines the divide between reality, fiction and fantasy, while questioning memory, mythological and socio-political narratives, personal histories and History.
Since 1997, Baladi has made forays into archival research, directed magazine editorials and curated exhibitions. In 2006, Baladi founded the artist residency Fenenin el Rehal (Arabic, Nomadic Artists) in Egypt’s White Desert. She won the first prize (Grand Nile Award) at the Cairo Biennale in 2008-09 for her ephemeral construction and sound installation Borg El Amal (Arabic, The Tower of Hope).
Since 2011, under the umbrella title, Vox Populi, she has been gathering an archive of data on the 2011 Egyptian revolution and other global, past and present, social movements. Various projects, including media initiatives, art installations and publications, continue to stem from this ongoing archive on the iconography of protests.
Baladi’s social and political engagement goes beyond her artistic practice. For more than twenty years, she has been on the Board of two of the most influential institutions in the Middle East, the Arab Image Foundation in Lebanon, and the Townhouse Gallery of Contemporary Art in Egypt. In 2020, she joined the Board of directors of The Artists Sanctum, a platform for creatives whose work contributes to social change.
A recipient of a Fellowship from the Japan Foundation in 2003, she was an artist in residency at MacDowell (New Hampshire, USA) in 2015, and at Art Omi in 2014 (New York, USA) among others. Since 2015, she has been a Lecturer in MIT’s Program in Art, Culture, and Technology (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).