I am also We: the consciousness of decolonization أنا أيضا هن: وصية بتفكيك الاستعمار

a solo exhibition by Razan AlSalah رزان الصلاح

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Friday, June 30 – Sunday, July 2, 2017
Gallery Hours noon – 6pm

Opening Friday, June 30th 7pm
followed by ARABIC POP PARTY أيا ساعة العربي؟

June 29, noon to 6pm: Press Preview Thursday 

July 1st, 2pm – 4pm: Panel Discussion
I am also We: the common consciousness of decolonial art
Please RSVP on Facebook


Opening will feature Razan’s videoworks projected in an installation designed by Hyun Wook Seo, a signmaking workshop to populate the installation led by Ashley Yang-Thompson, good Arab Levantine food (of course) and a cash bar with ARAK, a lounge area with a DECOLONIAL LIBRARY (contribute some of your books!) and an after hours ARABIC POP PARTY أيا ساعة العربي؟ by DJ Karim ElHaeis.

I am also We: the consciousness of decolonization  أنا أيضا هن: وصية بتفكيك الاستعمار

is a docu-fiction media installation, a series of three video works on settler colonialism, displacement and the intersectionality between the Syrian, Palestinian and Native American struggles. The body of work takes on a personal narrative that recontextualizes and remaps found and archival images of virtual and physical spaces which are projection mapped to physically and spatially (dis)connect different places, times and peoples.

Installation design by Hyun Wook Seo.

Synopses:

10th & Ellsworth (the game we play with grandma) لعبتنا أنا والحجة

Giving precise numeric directions is one of the first things I learned when I moved to America. In Arabic this piece is called ‘the game I play with grandma’. But everything is the work, even – or especially in this case – the translation. Displacement is loss of context, people and place, our safety net, to move to a supposedly safer space. This is a story of connection between myself and an 80 year old Syrian grandma who was displaced to Philadelphia from Damascus. We connected because we played the same game – games that reli(e)ve displacement.

Your father was born a 100 years old, and so was the Nakba 

ابوكي خلق عمره ١٠٠ سنة، زي النكبة

Palestinians are being forced out of their homes everyday. The largest exodus, what Palestinians call Nakba or catastrophe, occurred on May 15, 1948, 3 years after my father was born on William Stanton Street. William Stanton was a British colonel of the British Mandate in Palestine. Today, the street is called Shivat Tsiyon Street, the street of Liberation. ‘One colonial power made way to another – what liberation?’ grandma asks. Today, Palestinian refugees, my family included, are denied their Right to Return. My only access to my grandmother’s land is Google maps street view. Sometimes I wonder how grandma would’ve reacted if I would’ve shown her 7aifa on Street View, which is today the only way I can see Palestine.

Sound design by Victor Bresse.

Palestine is a Standing Rock فلسطين الصخرة الصامدة

The same bulldozer destroys two places at once, seamlessly moving between an olive grove in Palestine and a sacred burial ground on Turtle Island. The absurdity of a Palestinian woman landing on indigenous land. The meaning of a Palestinian woman landing on indigenous land. This is a reminder that colonization is one and everywhere, decolonization must be one and everywhere.

Thank you to family, friends, faculty and colleagues that helped make this happen and to the following organizations for their support:
FulbrightAssociationflux-logo
 tfma-logo