My keen interest in the performing arts, as a tool for social development in The Gambia, has motivated me to pursue training in the arts. Since 2011, I have received intensive training in acting, speech and voice production, singing, stage management and scriptwriting. I have discovered that the arts are a much more effective means of communicating with people, especially when working with children and youths.
All posts by maraahmedstudio
February 2021 marks 1 year since we last went to the movies. Remember going to the movies – that act of coming together as an audience, a short-term congregation of community, to share the experience of spectatorship for a couple of hours. On this one year anniversary, I am reflecting back on that experience, trying to retrieve what we have taken with us, as well as left behind us, on our last night so far at the movie theater.
I observed an almost invariable amount of work about loss, as I read through The Warp & Weft archive. The stories made me realize that we have all experienced different, but equally difficult losses during 2020. My response, Empty Spaces, is a reaction to the stories which I found especially evocative and relatable…
Lauren tells of her experience of having her job terminated during the pandemic by a hostile superior in her workplace. Instead of communicating with compassion and awareness, this former colleague weaponised managerial semantics to alienate and ostracise her.
J’ai plusieurs animaux ; des chiens, des chats… Mais Babou est un chien exceptionnel ! C’est un vieux chien et j’appréhende vraiment l’heure de son départ parce qu’elle a une empathie au-dessus de la normale, tant pour les chiens, les humains, mais aussi les animaux des autres espèces.
[Babou by Sabine Lebrun: I have several animals, dogs and cats, but Babou is an exceptional dog! She is an old dog and I truly dread the time of her departure, because she has incredible empathy for dogs, humans, and also members of other species.]
I wanted to assemble diverse voices, not only in English (an imperial language that erases too much) but also in Arabic, Urdu, Spanish, French, and many other languages. I hoped to create an archive that wouldn’t focus on politics or the 2020 election, but would tell stories about ideas, feelings, and experiences people were engaging with. What were we thinking or imagining as a human family?
A lifetime given to art has revealed my disregard for accepted techniques, themes, and standards. I use paint and clay and song to explore the mysteries behind apparent reality. Dream, alienation, and tragedy are mined as source material and if there is a funny side, so much the better.
It is on those particularly still and heavy days that I sit and remember the birth of the universe. The memory contained in my every cell. My mind’s eye catches the moment when life burst forth and set us on this divine course.
I composed this piece of music in response to Shamoun Murtza’s ‘If A Tree Falls In The Forest’ and as a response to the tone of his voice. His story has to do with the age-old philosophical dilemma: “If a tree falls in a forest and there is no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?”