Slavs and Tatars is an internationally-renowned art collective devoted to an area east of the former Berlin Wall and west of the Great Wall of China known as Eurasia. The collective’s practice is based on three activities: exhibitions, publications and lecture-performances. The Contest of the Fruits is a fourteenth-century Muslim text, written in Uighur, that captures the possibilities of boundary crossings tocultivate understanding, tolerance, and identity in a pluralistic world. The Contest of the Fruits project will consist of an array of activities with Slavs and Tatars through fall 2021 that will explore physical and cultural borders, heritage, and identity through an extended artist residency, animated film, an exhibition at Haverford’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery, public programs, and a publication.

Pew Center for Arts & Heritage

The Contest of the Fruits is supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage is a multidisciplinary grantmaker and hub for knowledge-sharing, funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, dedicated to fostering a vibrant cultural community in Greater Philadelphia. The Center invests in ambitious, imaginative, and catalytic work that showcases the region’s cultural vitality and enhances public life, and engages in an exchange of ideas concerning artistic and interpretive practice with a broad network of cultural practitioners and leaders.


a room with glass walls, an ornate rug, a chair, and book cases
Al-Isnad or Chains We Can Believe In, 2013–present, lecture-performance.

Introducing The Contest of the Fruits: Lecture-Performance with Slavs and Tatars

Wednesday, February 5, 2020
Arden Theatre’s Hamilton Family Arts Center, 62 N 2nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19106

5:45 p.m.
Welcome Reception with Slavs and Tatars

6:30 p.m.
Lecture-Performance by Slavs and Tatars

Free and open to the public. Please RSVP.

Bus transportation provided from Stokes Hall (Haverford) to Arden Theatre, departing Haverford at 4:45 p.m. and leaving the Arden for Stokes Hall at 8:00 p.m.

Join Haverford College’s Hurford Center for the Arts and Humanities, Twelve Gates Arts, and the Philadelphia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Philadelphia) for an evening with Slavs and Tatars on Wednesday, February 5. Following a welcome reception, Slavs and Tatars will present their lecture-performance Al-Isnad or Chains We Can Believe In to introduce their new Philadelphia-based residency, The Contest of the Fruits.

Al-Isnad or Chains We Can Believe In tells a story of mysticism within modernity, namely through the unlikely perspective of a Dan Flavin commission for a Sufi mosque in downtown New York in the early 1980s, via the Dia Art Foundation. From Khlebnikov and the Russian Futurists to Charles de Foucauld and le renouveau catholique, the lecture attempts a definition of criticality through hospitality and the sacred, linguistic and syncretic, respectively.


12 Gates Arts