House of the Union of Artists of USSR, Moscow, USSR

In June 1970, Inji Efflatoun became the first Arab woman artist to receive a solo exhibition in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. At the request of the Union of Artists of the USSR, Efflatoun then travelled to Moscow for the opening of her second solo exhibition in Moscow in 1975.

Efflatoun’s exhibitions in Moscow provide a distinctly Soviet perspective on the history of Egyptian art, following Egypt’s liberation by the Free Army in 1952, a period that to date has been primarily studied in relation to Western modernity and its engagement with abstraction. These exhibitions also demonstrate the extent of Soviet cultural engagement with Egypt, the African national liberation struggles, pan-Arabism, and international solidarity amongst the Second and Third worlds more broadly.