Thursday, April 13, 2023
12:30 - 2:00 p.m.
Webinar - Registration Required
About the Event
The Brown University Center for Middle East Studies (CMES) and the Columbia University Middle East Institute (MEI) are presenting a joint series titled Gender and Body Politics: Arts in the Middle East and its Diasporas. In conversation with artists from the Middle East and North Africa as well as its diasporas, the series examines intersecting inequalities and body politics expressed, represented, and transgressed in both visual and performance art. Against the backdrop of war and conflict, the rise of authoritarian regimes, displacement and diaspora mobilization, Islamophobia, ongoing orientalist depictions, and challenges linked to the Covid 19 pandemic, this series explores the ways in which artists are informed by and/or contribute to anti-racist, transnational feminist, and queer praxis.
We are thrilled to be joined by performance artist Amitis Motevalli, who writes: "Throughout my career as an artist and an educator for the past 20 years, my work has consistently explored and upheld the cultural resistance and survival of people, particularly women or femme identified individuals, living in situations of poverty, conflict, and war. I am drawn to the aesthetics of Islamic Art as rooted in devotion and love through resistance, rebellion against unjust authoritarianism and personal sacrifice, and even contemporary mass-media imagery which has derailed the international perception of these messages. Using varied media including installation, performance, sculpture, painting and drawing, printmaking, textiles and needlework, video, and collaborative public art, I juxtapose iconography and iconoclasm to secularize the ritual and aesthetic of Islam while retaining the mysticism of Sufi dervish tradition."