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On Collaboration & Solidarity

Qais Asali, Jose Luis Benavides, Albie Sachs, Reem Fadda
June 26, 2020, 18:00

While the United States of America watches its monuments and statues to enslavers and bigots defiantly toppled, we come together during this contemporary context of much needed revolt and iconoclasm to discuss embodied strategies and empathic practices of anti-racism and decolonialism. How do we as artists, curators and activists use our privileges and power to rethink icons, land, and loss on our many paths toward liberation?

Qais Assali (b. 1987 Nablus) is an artist, designer and educator. His interdisciplinary work seeks to engage and subvert national geopolitical power dynamics. Assali holds an MFA from Bard College, NY and MA in Art Education from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Recently, Assaliwas a Visiting Professor for the Critical Race Studies at Michigan State University 2018-19, and currently a Fellow at the Core Program at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. His work has been exhibited at the SculptureCenter, New York; Chicago Cultural Center; Rashid Diab Arts Centre, Khartoum; Jeune création, Paris; Festival Artes Vertentes de Tiradentes, Brazil; Temporary Art Centre, Eindhoven; 6018North, Chicago, solo exhibitions at Akademirommet, KunstnernesHus, Oslo; Khan Al Wakala, Nablus; and Michigan State University Union Art Gallery.

Jose Luis Benavides (b. 1986 Chicago) is a Latinx artist, filmmaker and educator. His works focus on issues of historicity, social narratives, and voice, merging intensive archival research practices. His work has screened internationally at: Revolutions Per Minute Festival, Univ. of Mass. Boston, US (2020); Istanbul International Film Festival, Istanbul (2019); Qalandiya International, Ramallah (2018); and Mizna’s 14th Twin Cities Arab Film Festival, Minneapolis, US (2019). Benavides is a co-coordinator with Illinois Deaths in Custody Project which seeks to document, archive, highlight and mourn the deaths of all peoples in Illinois jails and prisons. He also curates a Latinx video-art series called Sin Cinta Previa which was awarded a POWER Project grant from the Art Leaders of Color Network (2018) and a Propeller Fund grant (2019).

Albie Sachs (b. 1935 Johannesburg), lifelong human rights activist, is a retired justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa. Under the Apartheid regime, he was imprisoned and survived an assassination attempt. Albie Sachs was instrumental in drafting the ANC’s rules of conduct prohibiting torture, and later made a major contribution to the drafting of South Africa’s new non-racial, non-sexist democratic Constitution. As a Justice, he authored the opinion which legalized same-sex marriage in South Africa, and was in charge of the art at the Constitutional Court. He is currently working on establishing an archive and museum on Constitution Hill. His memoir is ‘The Soft Vengeance of a Freedom Fighter’.

Reem Fadda is an independent curator and art historian. Faddaworked at the Guggenheim from 2010-2016 as Associate Curator, Middle Eastern Art, Abu Dhabi Project. From 2005 to 2007, Fadda served as Academic Director for the International Academy of Art Palestine (PACA), Ramallah, which she helped found in 2006. She has curated many international exhibitions and biennials, including Jerusalem Lives (Tahya Al Quds), the inaugural exhibition at The Palestinian Museum, Birzeit (2017); Not New Now, 6th Marrakech Biennale (2016); and the United Arab Emirates National Pavilion, 55th Venice Biennale (2013).

This event was funded in part by The City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance.

This seminar was part of Dar Jacir's online program organized in response to the coronavirus emergency. Foregrounding solidarity and care our program focused on bringing together our family of artists, writers, musicians, filmmakers and dancers to lead programs and remain connected while we are physically separated.


Dar Yusuf Nasri Jacir for Art and Research
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