"Protection" exhibit on Konversation (sponsored by MAS#ALLAH project)
What does it mean to protect? It’s week 3 of MAS#ALLAH residency, and we’re using Konversation to explore the scope of protection in a world where survival doesn’t mean safety, and lack of physical violence doesn’t mean lack of trauma or inequality. Pieces range from an individual level (living as a second gen Middle Eastern in American) to an international development level (stuctural violence and policies surrounding Palestine).
Resident mashallah-project artist Hawa talks about her inspiration for the topic:
I’ve found what keeps coming up in the studio is the idea of protection- whether its the evil eye, veil, or prayer. I’m constantly grappling with the guarded and exposed parts of my experience- it’s quite emotional and vulnerable to document the scenarios in my head that reformulate my past into my current understanding of my identity. Protection is key to survive in the diaspora, whether its ethnic neighborhoods or thick guards to prevent people’s lack of understanding from penetrating you. Although protection can also be a luxury.
As such, protection for Palestine goes beyond ceasefire. Our Konversation lays out some basic inequalities leaving Palestinians at risk (housing/water/transit etc.) in hopes of bridging the bounds of safety and human rights.
Click for full exhibit on Konversation —>
Support the MAS#ALLAH Residency —>
SUPPORT MAS#ALLAH PROJECT
Calling on all tumblrs, bloggers, friends and fans! We’re raising money for Hawa’s residency at an Oakland gallery surveying and mediating contemporary Middle Eastern identity, art practice, thinking, and stories. Check out her Indiegogo for more information, the tumblr to ~submit your work~ to be included in the final show July 31st, and the event page if you want to attend open studios or closing parties.
“Mashallah,” an Arabic phrase of praise and protection, is the departure for photographer and writer, Hawa’s, journey for her July residency at B4BEL4ND Gallery in Oakland. She hopes to create a space from the collective imagination of Middle Eastern artists, thinkers, storytellers, and creators of all sorts. This platform will showcase original submissions of art, writing, photography, design, and personal essays from all over the world. Culminating in an underground party with DJs and live acts, we will celebrate this platform on screen alongside physical pieces at the gallery. This project was born out of a desire to gather and amplify the voices of the Middle Eastern diaspora, to challenge the depiction of Middle Eastern people in media post-911, and the commodification of Middle Eastern culture (script, veil, adornment).”
"SHADOW" - CREATIVE PROSE FT. D.MARKI on konversation
Brown bae d. marki aka ghostcafe isn’t just a great analytical writer (she wrote that bomb selfie article for us), she also writes magical prose, effortlessly referencing the most *creative* visual/sensual cues to make you ~see~/~feel~ what she means through metaphor.
For our latest konversation installation titled Shadow, we worked with d. marki whose experimental prose describes her experience as a child of immigrants inhabiting an in between space. In our Americanness, we are constantly haunted by shadows of a motherland we never had, and the home we are also never fully a part of. Excerpt below:
Nestled between the borders of two negligent worlds is an an unmapped valley, populated only by shadows
- "Who am I?"
- "Where do I belong?"
- "Who are my ancestors?"
More smoke than sound, the words barely echo in the depths of the valley. I’m still begging for the answers to these questions. I can’t do much else but haunt these shadowy fields, each step crushing the star bright white flowers of forgetfulness and trampling the dainty rosey berries of hatefulness…
TO REALLY GET WEIRD, READ THE FULL PIECE ON HTTP://KONVERSATION.US —>
The playlist: Middle Eastern and North African music
~~SUNDAY SOUNDS~~ Heavily vibing to this right now while making art and wanted to share
The latest in our round-up of music from the Arabic world covers the avant garde, a touch of classic rock, and the diaspora experience
"I FILMED A TEA PARTY RAP VIDEO IN HONOR OF CHAI"
Filmmaker & bastani bae Lara Sarkissian talks to us about the making behind her latest video for Issue which is devoted to tea:
Tea is a theme in most of Issue’s lyrics, not as a metaphor, but for the literal goodness of chai. “I try to think of tea as wisdom,” Issue explains in his Noisey interview, - it’s true though!! From Asia, Africa to the Middle East and Caucasus regions, tea has historically been used as alternative medicine, meditation, ceremonies, and social spaces such as teahouses. As someone who immediately associates tea to my Iranian-Armenian family’s gatherings, chai rituals, and nana’s homemade remedies, I WAS REALLY EXCITED TO MAKE A VIDEO ABOUT TEA…
Read full serving of tea~thoughts on Browntourage Mag ->
ALBUM REVIEW: Junglepussy released “Satisfaction Guaranteed” last week and we impressed
Junglepussy flows so hard, can switch it up all kinds of styles, and uses that gift in way that supports black power, girls empowerment and sexuality, self-love and health. Our boy Rishy has been onto her music for a minute so here’s an excerpt of his thought out review to let y’all know *JUST HOW DOPE* she is to us:
Junglepussy, twitter name Black Power, is hella vocal about black cultural politics and the commodification of blackness (often in white packaging) that has become endemic to the music industry. Some run from a name like Junglepussy, a name Shayna chose to encapsulate her love of animal prints and womanhood. Read together, the name recalls a racial fetish of exotic ethnic female sexual availability resulting in people literally tweeting her thinking she’s a “tranny or pornstar”, but she claps all the way bank on that stereotype with humor and finesse. She lays it down for dudes that she’s outta their league what it do #boop and if she has sex its for her benefit and she comes first. Junglepussy is here to s(t/l)ay. Sexuality is her reign and her agency is avowed a priori (that ding-a-ling was just a fling, bitch). To me that is mad empowering, to take this loaded ass name that scares off or “turns on” some audiences with it’s charged assumptions about women’s sexuality and then produce music that is full of confidence, ownership of one’s sexuality, and lyrical chops - PROPS…
Read full review, track by track, pix, & more on Browntourage Mag ->
FKA twigs - tw-ache
New video from FKA Twigs and Tom Beard. Lots of large movements through space, close-ups on the body/micromovements, and playing with perspective in this one. Check out more of her features on the Dazed Digital page~
"Desert Lullabies" - a short film by Monely Soltani
Monely Soltani is a queer Iranian woman whose films are full of heart, brains, and dreams. After growing up in Iran during the Gulf War, Monely’s family moved to California where she earned a Global studies degree, filmed multiple social justice pieces, and most recently completed her MFA in Film at USC. Her latest work “Desert Lullabies" follows a 7 year old girl Tara who must flee from her war-torn home. With hypersurreal VFX of apparitions and desert skies, Tara’s dreams help her to find the courage she needs to leave while her dad is away at war. The film establishes a sense of maternal strength since screentime is dominated by an intergenerational female cast including Tara, her mom, her grandma, her doll Anna, and Zoastrian Goddess Anahita.
During the Q&A, Monely mentioned some of the production processes of the film. I was *stunned* over the fact this was filmed in America! Her team constructed the set themselves, did all the costuming, visited a desert in the U.S. and hired someone to write an original score of traditional Iranian music. Everything looked on point, and the farsi was perfect- it took me to Iran. ~~We talking pro levels.~~
Soltani dedicates the movie to children of war all over, and takes inspiration from her own experience when her family had to flee during the Gulf War. If you get a chance, I highly recommend seeing it. And, obviously, support Monely Soltani!
*Queer Women of Color Film Festival thrown by QWOCMAP as part of this year’s National Queer Arts Festival
'E A S Y' ft. M A R C E L O for Konversation
Read the artist interview here.
Enter the exhibit here.
Special Thanks, Babeland Gallery.
I hate how fifa and the state of brazil handled preparations for world cup leaving many displaced and using public funds but shouts to Iran for even qualifying - freeways were totally clogged by dance parties last year in Iran when i got this fit, and this tie with nigeria today aint bad at all #downforglobalsouthtotakehomegold #workdcup