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January 28, 2011
Salman Ahmad, Reza Aslan, Fabrice Hadjadj, Alicia Jo Rabins, Shirin Neshat, Damien Poisblaud
Hosted by: Reza Aslan
Performing artists and writers will come together on stage: a testament to a hoped-for future of peaceful collaboration between the three great faiths of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The evening will gather Shirin Neshat on the written word in Islam, Alicia Jo Rabins who will perform poems set to music about women in the Torah, Salman Ahmad who will play traditional ghazals mixed with rock and roll, and Fabrice Hadjadj who will read on the book of Job, in a duet with Gregorian chant singer Damien Poisblaud.

This event is sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.


REZA ASLAN is an internationally acclaimed writer and scholar of religions, whose first book, No god but God was an international bestseller. Aslan is Chief Creative Officer of BoomGen Studios, a mini-motion picture and media company focused on entertainment about the Greater Middle East and its Diaspora communities. He is Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside. His latest book is Beyond Fundamentalism: Confronting Religious Extremism in the Age of Globalization.

SALMAN AHMAD is a Pakistani rock star whose band Junoon has sold over 25 million albums. A medical doctor by training, Salman currently travels the globe as a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador, spreading a message of harmony and reconciliation between the West and the Muslim world. He currently teaches a course on Muslim music and poetry at the City University of New York. His latest book is Rock & Roll Jihad: A Muslim Rock Star's Revolution.

FABRICE HADJADJ is a philosophy teacher and a playwright who writes for the Figaro littéraire and Art Press. He published several non fiction books, including La Profondeur des sexes. Pour une mystique de la chair (The depth of the sexes. In favor of a mystic of flesh); La Foi des démons ou l'athéisme dépassé (The demons' faith: obsolete atheism). His most recent book is Le Paradis à la porte. Essai sur une joie qui dérange.

ALICIA JO RABINS is a poet, composer, and classically trained violinist. Her poems have been published in Ploughshares, The Boston Review, 6 x 6, Court Green, Broken Land: Poems of Brooklyn, and Horse Poems. As a violinist, singer, and composer, Rabins tours internationally; her most recent release is "Girls in Trouble," is an art-pop song cycle about women in the Old Testament.

SHIRIN NESHAT is an internationally acclaimed photographer, videographer, and filmmaker who first came to prominence in the mid-1990s when she exhibited her series the Women of Allah. Since then, the Iranian-born artist has continued to explore difficult subjects: the boundaries between East and West, men and women, the sacred and the profane, exile and belonging.

DAMIEN POISBLAUD came to Gregorian chant as early as 1980 and has been singing in a choir on a regular basis for more than 15 years. His passion for medieval art and thought, which he studied along with philosophy and theology, combined with his opening to different kinds of traditional music from over the world, gradually led him to a completely renewed approach of his traditional church repertoire. He created the Choeur Grégorien de Méditerranée.


Debates, Readings, Performances

Over the course of three 10-day series in 2011 in New York City, WALLS & BRIDGES, curated by the Villa Gillet and presented by the Conseil de la Création artistique will present nearly 50 cultural events, combining about 100 speakers and artists, 30 partners and over 20 venues. Join LIVE from the NYPL as we host WALLS & BRIDGES at The New York Public Library.
Walls & Bridges is a series of events presented by the Villa Gillet and the Conseil de la création artistique.





The Villa Gillet (Lyon, France) is a unique cultural institute interested in thought in all its expressions. It brings together artists, writers, novelists and researchers from all over the world to encourage public debate on the big issues facing the world today.

The Conseil de la Création artistique is a laboratory for cultural experimentation created by the French Government in 2009 whose aim is to support innovative projects in the cultural field.

BOOMGEN STUDIOS is a vertically integrated motion picture company designed to produce and work with commercial entertainment content related to the Greater Middle East, its people and cultures. We provide innovative cultural, creative, publicity, marketing, and social media/community engagement solutions to Hollywood studios, independent filmmakers, and distributors, and have worked on a number of high profile projects.