AIC CENTER: Our Art, Ourselves: Muslim Women Artists Explore their Hybrid Identities

BOSTON, Feb. 22, 2012 - Last night, AIC and WorldBoston presented “Our Art Ourselves: Muslim Women Artists Explore their Hybrid Identities,’ the latest in our joint “Muslim Women Series.”

Noted Muslim female artists Niloofar Ziae and Nada Farhat and poet Mona Kareem talked art, expression and the piecing together of patchwork identities as AIC’s Lauren Murphy moderated. Against a backdrop of Niloofar’s bold abstract paintings and Nada’s mixed-media designs, each artist shared her story.

Nada, a physician in residency at a top Boston hospital, was raised in Saudi Arabia and New Mexico, pressured by her family to pursue medicine but internally called to artistic expression. Her work blends elements from her Islamic heritage with the vibrant colors and landscapes of the Southwest and she reflected, in near disbelief, at America’s celebration of artists in contrast to Saudi Arabia’s suppression of them.

Niloofar grew up in pre-revolution Iran; after the fall of the Shah, her home became a haven for Iran’s underground artists, poets, filmmakers and writers. Her paintings convey a theme of searching – many are inspired by the rooftops of Tehran and incorporate roads, passageways and maps.

Mona was born in Kuwait as a member of the stateless bedoun community, marginalized and stripped of human rights by the Kuwaiti government. She shared a new poem, “Undocumented,” that captures the sadness, longing, and immutable hope she feels as an “undocumented” resident of her own country.

Each artist shared thoughts and experiences that resonated with each other and the audience. Join us in March when AIC and WorldBoston present My Tehran for Sale, a film by renowned Iranian director and poety Granaz Moussavi.

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