Master of Arts in Visual and Critical Studies
Master of Arts in Visual and Critical Studies, SAIC, 2012
Bachelor of Fine Arts, Graphic Design, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2008
School of Art and Design, Honors College
Master of Arts in Visual and Critical Studies Fellowship, 2012
Finalist, Chicago Public Library Poster Design Contest, Harold Washington Library, 2010
Pro Neo Post, Autumn Space Gallery, Chicago 2012
And Then a Pause, Sullivan Galleries, 2011
If Artists Ran the Media, Columbia College, Chicago, 2008
Experience at SAIC
The main reason I chose the Visual and Critical Studies program at SAIC was because I had many interests and was not sure how to navigate them. I wanted to bridge art, community work, and social justice, and I hoped that the Visual and Critical Studies program would allow me to do so. Fortunately, it did!
With the support of some professors and the openness and interdisciplinary nature of the program, I was able to work on projects that combined my interests with focus and clarity and I am able to continue working in this manner.
Influenced by issues of social justice and personal identity—specifically nationality, culture, and religion—I am a graphic designer who has gravitated toward the art of writing and creating installations.
I am greatly interested in exploring the relationship between art and culture and its use in creating change and building community bridges, which I try to accomplish in some fashion within my work. I study the politics of contested spaces and how it results in the destruction of cultural archives and how mapping is used as the tool for this destruction. I am curious about the ways in which different types of mapping can be used as a form of resistance to this destruction, particularly focusing on Palestine-Israel and exploring how mapping particular aspects of the Palestinian Diaspora can stop destruction, reclaim cultural identity, and move the cause for justice forward.
I am also intrigued by people’s perceptions of violence and how the media shapes these perceptions, as well as ways in which mapping can play a role in either reinforcing these views or breaking them down. Society has a tendency to focus on violence and disregard or refuse to see the good in certain areas, and I wonder about the different ways in which these views might be changed. I am fascinated by and investigate the spatialization of freedom and whether or not public space is necessary for effective political and community engagement. How can space be reclaimed for public use and how can other types of spaces—virtual, transportational, and institution space—be used for effective political and communal engagement? How can this be used to combat issues such as Islamophobia, where artistic engagement is low? My most recent and current work addresses these issues, and I hope to continue making work that benefits humanity in some way, makes a point and inspires change.
How can maps advance issues of a colonized people, where instead of mapping what has been destroyed or lost by a current occupying power, they are mapping forward with the goal of ending occupation and colonialism and installing justice?
To help me answer this question, I am currently working on Objects of Palestine, a project featuring objects and narratives in the American Palestinian diaspora passed down to the children of those made refugees in 1948 and 1967, exploring the role they play in connection to homeland, linking past with future, and resisting cultural destruction. I hope the project will serve as a narrative map that fulfills the very nature of my question.
Disclaimer: All work represents the views of the INDIVIDUAL ARTISTS & AUTHORS who created them, and are not those of the school or museum of the Art Institute.