CURATED BY: LIZZY VARTANIAN COLLIER
PART OF ARTS CANTEEN'S ARAB WOMEN
ARTISTS NOW (AWAN) FESTIVAL 2018
Perpetual Movement considers the relationship between migration and memory in connection to the Arab world and its diaspora. How does your memory of a place change once you have left? What happens if you are ethnically associated with a location but have never even been there? Memories can be inherited, they can alter from generation to generation, becoming fragmented, creating gaps that need to be filled. They can also change with time. Some memories can be buried, while others can be idealised.
The artists whose works comprise this exhibition have roots in Egypt, Kuwait, Syria, Yemen and the UAE, yet they are based in Europe and North America as well as in the Middle East. Some of them have been born into diaspora, others remain in the region, while others have left their homeland due to other circumstances. They all illustrate movement in their work in various ways, creating a rich, multilayered picture of young women from the region.
People have been moving to, from and through the Arab region for hundreds, even thousands of years. They still do. With them memories also move, are created and are altered through time. Sometimes travel is required to discover one’s own heritage. At other times movement is vital to seek safety. In our technological and globalized world, many of us have the gift of travel, but some our hindered due to powers beyond our control. Perpetual Movement addresses a multitude of reasons for and the impact of migration and investigates the fragmented memories that are created and passed on as a consequence of these actions. Movement can be both positive and negative, there are many reasons why it takes place, but it is always happening.
The exhibition comprises the work of 7 emerging women artists with roots in the Arab region: Yumna Al-Arashi, Nada Elkalaawy, Shaikha Fahad Al Ketbi, Thana Faroq, Araz Farra, Nadia Gohar and Najd AlTaher.