So energizing to be part of the Artists Round Table today and talk about Hopeful Art & Artful Hope. The convo was moderated by the wonderful Gabrielle Javier-Cerulli and I learned so much about the work of amazing artists/activists like Michaela Oteri, TL Luke, Kristy Lisle, Kierston Ghaznavi, Yvette Pino, and Della Wells.
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Contending Modernities | The Injured Body: Palestine, Mizrahi Jews, and the Imperial Politics of Color
We have been working on this piece off and on since the beginning of 2023. So proud of this conversation with Dr Shirly Bahar about performativity, solidarity across activist spaces, the relationship between trauma and language, and the importance of reconceptualizing feelings of powerlessness as public and political so as to pursue change.
This NYSCA-funded project involves the completion of a short film “Women of Color in Colonial Postcards and the Politics of Representation” (approx. 30 min), a community screening and discussion at Cinema Arts Center; an art exhibit (including film stills and collages based on 19th-early 20th century postcards), an artist talk at Huntington Historical Society; and a free screening of the film at Ma’s House & BIPOC Art Studio in Southampton.
Trailer for Palestinian Film Festival Amsterdam
The Palestinian Film Festival Amsterdam, founded by my dear friend Nihal Rabbani, lifts the voices of Palestinian artists/filmmakers and educates audiences on the subject of Palestine. This year the festival will commemorate 75 years of the Nakba, the Great Catastrophe, which saw the mass expulsion of indigenous Palestinians in 1948. I edited the official trailer for the PFFA. It will take place at Rialto De Pijp from May 12-15, 2023.
Join us for a conversation between Shirly Bahar and Mara Ahmed about their recent scholarly and creative work related to oppression and the body. Bahar’s recent book, “Documentary Cinema in Israel-Palestine: Performance, the Body, the Home,” and Ahmed’s upcoming film, “The Injured Body,” both explore how colonialism, marginalization, and daily mental and emotional stresses from racism and othering impact the body.
The Warp & Weft audio archive was transformed into a multimedia exhibition including sound, text, photography, and animation. The Warp & Weft [ Face to Face ] opened at Rochester Contemporary Art Center on April 1st, 2022 with an artist talk by Mara Ahmed.
I have been officiating at funerals for more than 30 years. One might say I felt “called” to the work, not necessarily in a spiritual sense, but I have the right skill sets. Most of the funerals I have celebrated, have been for people who have lived long and full lives. They fall into the “circle of life” category, in which death is seen as a part of life.
بعد از ۵۵ روز اقامت در کمپ، نام من و خواهرم نیز در لیست افرادی بود که به یکی از ایالتها برای ادامه زندگی منتقل شویم. ما بعد از سه روز به شهر روچستر ایالات نیویورک رفتیم
[Leaving Kabul by Marzia Rezaee: After 55 days in the camp, Sohaila and I got on the list of people to be moved to a permanent residence. Three days later, we were sent to Rochester, New York. About a hundred people were evacuated from the camp in New Mexico that day…]
Sometime over the past two years, something changed in me. As if I woke up and became someone else. A long period of being alone in my little studio folded me slowly, just like I fold and mould my clay. I started imagining life among my art pieces – I became my own subject.
A poem by Faiz Ahmed Faiz, translated from the Urdu and read by Mara Ahmed, with sound design by Darien Lamen: Dasht-e-Tanhai (The Desert of Loneliness) or Yaad (Memory) has always moved me, its words and metaphors like pearls strung together with elegant ease. It embodies Faiz’s style of writing: filled with glorious ideas of beauty and social justice but always fluid, unencumbered, songful.
Honored to engage in conversation with the brilliant Uzma Aslam Khan about her new book, The Miraculous True History of Nomi Ali, on June 28th at McNally Jackson Seaport in NYC. Beautifully written and part of the important process of decolonizing history and literature, Uzma’s book brings to life revolutions that have been erased and forgotten, and exposes the mechanics of colonial oppression.
Released in collaboration with RoCo starting March 2021, The Warp & Weft is an online audio archive created and curated by interdisciplinary artist Mara Ahmed. It is a collection of stories from the first year of the pandemic that weaves together diverse voices, languages and geographies. Now a year later, with the coronavirus still with us and the world knit together as tightly as ever, we revisit the archive as a multimedia exhibition. Experience The Warp & Weft [Face to Face] at RoCo (April 1-May 7) and immerse yourself in a colorful tapestry of stories.