Let There Be Spaces in Your Togetherness
Saturday, December 7th, 6-9pm
December 7, 2019 – January 9, 2020
Let There Be Spaces in Your Togetherness is an exhibition featuring the work of US-based artists from the Southwest Asian and North African (SWANA) region or of SWANA descent.
Exhibiting Artists: Sarah Abdel-Jelil, Lamia Abukhadra, Hend al Mansour, Samer Saim Aldhr, Bilal Alkatout, Katayoun Amjadi, Céline Aziza Kaldas Anderson, Amanda Assaley, Qais Assali, Leila Awadallah, Noura Ballout, Melissa Chimera, Rama Duwaji, Ghazal Ghazi, Nabil Harb, Essma Imady, Luma Jasim, Ifrah Mansour, Walid Mohanna, Zeinab Saab, Gazelle Samizay, Kiki Salem, Mahya Shamai and Nailah Taman
Let There Be Spaces in Your Togetherness is a quote by Khalil Gibran, famed Arab American poet of the early 1900s. While SWANA communities are scattered around the globe due to legacies of colonization and migration, Mizna serves as a critical platform and gathering space for Arab and Muslim creatives. Mizna has a twenty year history of featuring the work of established and emerging visual artists in our lit + art journal, Mizna: Prose, Poetry, and Art Exploring Arab America, as well as in exhibitions and public artworks. In this exhibition at Soo Visual Arts Center, Mizna showcases the perspectives, practices, and artworks of a new generation of US-based SWANA creatives as we look toward another two decades of cultivating rich spaces. Spaces in which, in Gibran’s words, “the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow," spaces in which the diversity and artistry of our community is celebrated and sustained. Let There Be Spaces in Your Togetherness was juried by Essma Imady, Hend Al Mansour, and Lamia Abukhadra, three Arab artists based in the Twin Cities. The jurors will show works alongside the works of the selected artists, anchoring the exhibition.
Essma Imady is an installation and film artist based in the Twin Cities. She grew up in Damascus, Syria, and was dislocated to Minnesota in 2011. Her practice addresses the political aspects of the personal, the formation of identities, and the complicated relationship between vision and knowledge. Her most recent exhibits include the MAEP program at MIA and curating a performance night at the Walker.
Hend al Mansour: At first glance, Hend Al-Mansour’s work appears traditionally Islamic, but sustained engagement reveals subversive messages that critique gender injustice. She is best known for her stylized figures printed within colorful geometric design backgrounds. Inspired by women’s traditional artistic media in the Arab world, her shrine-like installations highlight powerful women in contemporary life and history. hendalmansour.com
Lamia Abukhadra is a Palestinian American artist. Her interdisciplinary research based practice challenges harmful dominant narratives which perpetuate the settler colonial imagination as well as acts of violence and ethnic cleansing in Palestine and its diasporic spaces. Lamia is a 2018–2019 Jerome Emerging Printmaking Resident at Highpoint Center for Printmaking and a 2019–2020 Home Workspace Program Fellow at Ashkal Alwan. lamiaabukhadra.com