Rabih Mroué

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Rabih Mroué
Native name ربيع مروة
Born Rabih Mroué
1967 (age 50–51)
Beirut, Lebanon
Residence Hazmieh, Lebanon
Nationality Lebanese
Alma mater Lebanese University (1989)
Occupation Actor, playwright, visual artist
Spouse(s) Lina Saneh

Rabih Mroué (Arabic: ربيع مروة‎, born 1967)[1] is a Lebanese stage and film actor, playwright, and visual artist. Rooted in theater, his work includes videos and installation art; the latter sometimes incorporates photography, text and sculpture.[1]


Born in Beirut, Mroué lives in Hazmieh, Lebanon.[2] He is a grandson of Husayn Muruwwa.[3] He graduated in theater in 1989 from Lebanese University,[2] where he met his wife, Lina Saneh.[1][2]

He has been creating theater pieces since 1990.[2] Theater in Beirut revived in the years after the Lebanese Civil War, but Mroué and Saneh, who frequently collaborate, were among the first to push into avant-garde territory (and away from European influences), using venues such as the Russian Cultural Center, makeshift halls, and private homes.[4] His works since the late 1990s "blur and confound the boundaries between theater and the visual arts", often using screens and projected images.[4] Writing in the New York Times about Mroué's theater group, Kaelen Wilson-Goldie commented that "they are to Beirut what the Wooster Group is to New York: a blend of avant-garde innovation, conceptual complexity and political urgency, all grounded in earthy humor."[1]

Mroué's performances, although scripted, are designed to appear more like improvised works in progress, reflecting his continuing theme of inquiry, focused more on provoking thought than presenting spectacle.[4] Mroué has written of his own work, "My works deal with issues that have been swept under the table in the current political climate of Lebanon,"[2]

Mroué's 2007 piece about the Lebanese Civil War, How Nancy Wished That Everything Was an April Fool's Joke, toured internationally. Banned domestically by the Lebanese Interior Ministry,[1] it premiered in Tokyo.[2] The ban was eventually lifted.[5] In 2012, a series of photographs made with mobile phones at Homs, Syria showed persons killed during the fights of 2011/2012. Copies of the photographs were shown at dOCUMENTA (13) at Kassel, Germany with the title Pixelated Revolution.

Mroué is a board member of the Beirut Art Center.


Works (selected)[edit]

Theater pieces[edit]

  • The Journey of Little Gandhi (1991). Adapted from Elias Khoury's 1989 novel of the same name.[4]
  • Extension 19 (1997).[4]
  • Come In Sir, We Are Waiting for You Outside (1998). Collaboration with Tony Chakar.[4]
  • Three Posters (2000). Collaboration with Elias Khoury.[4]
  • Biokraphia (2002) in collaboration with Lina Saneh.[4]
  • Who's Afraid of Representation (2005)[1]
  • How Nancy Wished That Everything Was an April Fool's Joke (2007).[1] Collaboration with Fadi Toufic. Premiered at Tokyo International Arts Festival, Tokyo, Japan.[2]
  • Looking for a Missing Employee[6]
  • Yesterday's Man (2007), in collaboration with Tony Chakar and Tiago Rodrigues, premiered at La Mercè, Girona, Spain.[2]
  • Theater with dirty feet (2008). Premiered at HAU 2, Hebbel-Theater, Berlin, Germany.[2]
  • The inhabitants of images (2009). Premiered at Art Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.[2] Originally a lecture/performance, later a video installation.[7]
  • Photo-Romance (2009). Collaboration with Lina Saneh. Premiered at Festival d'Avignon, Avignon.[2]
  • The Pixelated Revolution (2012). Premiered at PS 122, New York, New York.
  • Riding on a Cloud (2013).



  • With Soul, with Blood (2003).[7]
  • I, the undersigned (2007). Premiered 2008, Manifesta 7, Trentino-South Tyrol, Italy[2]
  • Noiseless (2008).[7]
  • Grandfather, Father and Son (2010). Premiered 2011, Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art, Toronto, Canada.[7]
  • The inhabitants of images (between 2009 and 2011)[7]

Film roles[edit]

  • Je Veux Voir (2008)[9]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Kaelen Wilson-Goldie (2007-08-18). "Lebanon Bans Tale of Fighters in Militias". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-01-23. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Rabih Mroué, Foundation for Contemporary Arts (grant recipient page). Accessed 22 January 2012.
  3. ^ Remembering Husayn Muruwwah, the ‘Red Mujtahid’, Louis Allday, Feb. 16, 2017, Jadaliyya
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Kaelen Wilson-Goldie, Rabih Mroué: Forms of Engagement, Nafas (Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations of Germany / Universes in Universe), July 2010. Accessed 22 January 2012.
  5. ^ Kaelen Wilson-Goldie (2007-08-31). "Arts, Briefly: Lebanon Retracts Ban on Performance Piece". New York Times. Retrieved 2016-05-21. 
  6. ^ a b Off the Wall 2012 – Rabih Mroué: Looking for a Missing Employee, The Andy Warhol Museum (calendar). Accessed 22 January 2012.
  7. ^ a b c d e Rabih Mroue's The Inhabitants of Images, e-flux. Listing for installation at the Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art, Toronto, Canada. Accessed 22 January 2012.
  8. ^ Face A / Face B Archived 19 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine. commented at MACBA's website
  9. ^ Laura Allsop, Rabih Mroue, the Lebanese artist starting a creative rebellion, CNN, 2011-04-05. Accessed 22 January 2012.

External links[edit]

http://www.ibraaz.org/interviews/11 - Interview with Rabih Mroué and Anthony Downey (01/2012)