Thank you Regan! On an aside … this is my eating disorder therapist’s most loathed program. I wonder why?
Thank you Regan! On an aside … this is my eating disorder therapist’s most loathed program. I wonder why?
Artist mounts national ad campaign to take down the $66 BILLION Diet Industry. Fight for freedom from self-loathing. DUMP THE DIETS! Http://bit.ly/dietersunite
Okay so my life has been in upheaval for about a month trying to get this blasted crowd funding up and running. It’s a gut wrenching procedure, making you question yourself and all your relationships. Who loves you enough? who believes in you? who thinks your ideas are worth their time and money? Anyways…I’ve come to the conclusion that the people who should love me think I’m nuts and would not fund me because why should they ( Mother and Brothers ). My husband has funded me for 22 years already…and well he won’t ask people at work to fund me because I am insane and he doesn’t want to bother them with my insanity. All my friends are starving artists so as much as they might support my project??? they don’t have the money to do it either…so have I wasted a month of my life? I sure hope the hell not.
It does feel like! I got my project rejected from Kickstarter…so I had to start again Kicking and Screaming. Of course every different crowd funding source has a different format so all that work I did all this past month is for not! Now I’ve spent two days trying to upload my stuff onto Indiegogo and I can’t seem to the get the pictures up. It seems your pictures need a URL…so I put them up on Facebook hoping that would give them a URL but no?? it doesn’t…then I tried to make the URL shorter using bitly thinking surely that was the problem…but no that wasn’t the problem either. So now even though I don’t have time, I’m blogging…because I need to explain why I am suddenly going to place some random images up on my blog.
All this Technology is making me numb…or is it dumb? So here I go…I will up load all the random images I hope to have appear in my Indiegogo campaign page…I will attach a whole bunch of links to my page taking all you readers to all these fabulous websites I have mentioned above. Some I hate, KICKSTARTER, and some I don’t hate yet…INDIEGOGO, and OMG we are having a brown out??? Or did we blow a fuse….please someone take me away!!!
Okay here goes nothing…if this does not give these pictures URLs? I don’t know what to do.
Ah the joys of googling oneself…while trying to find some press about the current exhibition at Whitdel Arts in Detroit “Anywhere But Here” I happened across this link, it’s timely as this piece again has been featured at the online museum International Museum of Women (imow.org) in their newest project “Muslima”http://muslima.imow.org/ art by Muslim Women Artists. I was truly taken aback when the curator invited me to have my piece in the project. I had heard and had been sharing as broadly as possible that Samina Ali was looking for work by Muslim Women Artists, but it had never occurred to me that my work could or would be included.
I feel honored now that page has been launched to be included in such a great endeavor, as it through the visual arts that change is possible. Much stronger then a sermon at a place of worship, or a lecture in school or at the dinner table at home about how to behave…what’s right and wrong, that visual message and imagery sticks with us and is carried around everywhere we go…silently effecting our thoughts and actions. Powerful images haunt our lives, and have the ability to transform us as quietly as they come and go inside our minds.
It was also just this past fall that I finally had the opportunity to actually see Jennifer Heath’s Curatorial debut exhibition almost 6 years after it was first mounted. It was spectacular, and once again an honor to be included in The Veil: Visible & Invisible Spaces. The following review is from that exhibition which continues to travel, currently at Ithica College in the Handwerker Gallery.
Contributions of Arab-Americans to the Fine Arts are generally either overlooked or politicized in the American art scene. Too often, the message of Arab-American art can become obscured by the politicization of Arab-American identity. Many individuals that view Arab-American art assume that there is some political intention of the artist or that the artwork itself is a form of the artist analyzing his or her own Arab-American hybrid identity. In addition to the stereotyping of this category of art, Arab-American art is often marginalized in America because of its minority status and the difficulty of characterizing Arab-American art.
Girls Will Be Girls by Anita Kunz
Born in Canada, Kunz has lived in cities such as London, Toronto, and New York. She has worked with design firms and magazines around the world and is internationally renowned for her illustrations and sculptures.
The painting Girls Will Be Girls appeared on the cover of The New Yorker in 2007. The work reflects the artist’s thoughts on cultural extremes and female repression. Kunz enjoys working on projects that are politically or socially oriented, especially potentially controversial projects that are “meaningful and may be open for debate.” In an interview with illoz, she explained “I’m compelled to do more personal art that addresses issues that magazines don’t address.” Using her art as a form of self expression, she explores her thoughts on oppressive costumes that some religions require of women and the similarities in traditional dress of Catholic nuns and muslim women, despite huge differences in their religious beliefs.
One of These Things is Not Like the Other: Elizabeth Smart by Brenda Oelbaum
As a Jewish artist, Brenda Oelbaum offers a unique perspective on Arabs in America. After 9/11 she began working her fears of Arabs and Islam into her artwork. Juxtaposing images of women in hajib with visually similar images from popular culture, Oelbaum attempts to digest her own prejudices and better understand her own thoughts and feelings on the subject.
One of These Things is Not Like the Other includes an image analyzing the story of Elizabeth Smart, a young Mormon girl who was stolen from her bed in the middle of the night and held in captivity for nine months. Before she was recovered and returned to her family, her captor took her out in public garbed in a make-shift burka, her face covered by a veil held together by safety pins. This startling and arresting image illustrates the artist’s perspective on the many different forms that veiling can take: “For a Muslim woman it may be choice, religious belief, empowerment, or put upon her by her by her family or her husband. But in the situation regarding Elizabeth Smart, she was a hostage, hidden, weak.” Oelbaum hopes that people viewing her work will begin to see that the veil can be a sign of unity and solidarity for Muslim women, rather than a symbol of fear and oppression. In her own words, “Everyone is different and until you have actually spoken to the woman in her burka do you know her true feelings.”
Homes for the Disembodied by Mary Tuma
An American by birth, Mary Tuma has studied art in her native California, as well as New York, Arizona, and Kerdassa, Egypt. Currently she teaches at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte where she serves as an Associate Professor and Head of the Fibers Program. Tuma uses her love of sewing and crocheting to express her artistic point of view through tapestry-making and the creation of various textiles.
Made from 50 yards of black silk, Homes for the Disembodied represents the displacement of the Palestinian people from their homeland. The connected nature of the dresses represents the shared misfortune of the Palestinians and their solidarity as one people; the emptiness of the clothing represents the absence of the Palestinians from their homes; and the use of the female form is a way to honor the strength of the Palestinian women who must carry on in difficult times and unjust circumstances.
Oppression Series (2) by Sarah Rahbar
Sarah Rahbar splits her time between New York and Tehran, Iran, where she was born. Rahbar does not consider herself Muslim, but her Iranian background forms the foundation of her work and her perspectives. With the outbreak of the Islamic Revolution and the Iran-Iraq War, Rahbar had to leave her homeland and her family, an experience that dramatically affected her evolution as an artist. She frequently addresses subjects that deal with political issues and current events: themes of identity, nationalism and borders feature prominently in her work.
One of the materials Rahbar uses most frequently in her work is flags. She dislikes the way flags divide and separate people, creating artificial borders and isolation and making people feel they are different from others in distant countries. In her Oppression Series, Rahbar is “exploring ideas of national belonging, as well as the conflicting role of flags as symbols of ideological and nationalistic violence.“ Countries, cultures, and diversity are major forces in the world today. According to the artist, “we have made our personal identities so important and supreme above all. We believe that it is our countries, our nationalism, our religions, our cultures, our beliefs and so on, that make us who and what we are.” The result that Rahbar sees is the dividing, separating, and labeling of individuals.
Image from Dress Codes and Modes, an interactive PowerPoint
An international solidarity network, Women Living Under Muslim Law (WLUML) provides aid and support to women in countries where their lives are affected by laws or customs that derive from Islamic tradition. By supplying women with information and supporting their struggles and trials, WLUML hopes to increase the autonomy of women by connecting them with progressive international groups and opening up channels of communication.
Dress Codes and Modes: Women’s Dress in Some Muslim Countries and Communities is an interactive PowerPoint presentation that compares women’s dress across differences in region, ethnicity, religious groups, climate, vocation, and culture. Focusing on the role of dress codes in Muslim identity in seven geographic areas: Egypt, Iran, Northern Nigeria, Pakistan, South Asia, Sri Lanka, and Turkey, the presentation contains more than 100 images, including photos, drawings, and paintings, and nearly 100 quotations dealing with dress and Islam.
Secrets Under the ‘Abaya by Helen Zughaib
Born in Lebanon, Helen Zughaib spent most of her life in the Middle East until she came to the United States as a student. Today as a United States Cultural Envoy to the West Bank, Palestine, she hopes the arts can be used to foster positive dialogue about the Middle East.
Secrets Under the ‘Abaya refers to the complexities of women in Muslim countries, striving to break the stereotypes associated with the ‘abaya in Western countries. An Iraqi proverb says “There are many secrets hidden under the ‘abaya” and Zughaib attempts to use her artwork to demonstrate just how complicated concepts of veiling and the conditions of women in Islamic countries truly are. “Zughaib neither condones nor condemns the Muslim tradition; she simply provides insight into the complexity of the issue itself.” By taking the image of an object frequently associated with oppression and restriction and combining it with contemporary artistic techniques used in Western traditions, Zughaib hopes to present a different perspective on veiling and women in Arab nations.
Safe in Saudi Arabia by Amir Normandi
When Amir Normandi brought his exhibit entitled “No Veil Required” to Chicago, Illinois, Muslim students became outraged and demanded for its closure. Normandi’s pieces depict some images that may seem stereotypical to some Americans, such as “Safe in Saudi Arabia” which portrays an Arab man holding gun while a woman in a hijab stands quietly in the background. This piece as well as others by Normandi can easily be misinterpreted as containing a message that equates all references to hijab with oppression. The reality is that Normandi created this piece to specifically address the mandatory wearing of the veil for Iraqi women. However, many Muslims interpreted Normandi’s pieces as furthering stereotypes and condemned them. These individuals were correct in believing that Normandi’s pieces had a political intention but misinterpreted the political statement that Normandi was trying to achieve. View other images from the “No Veil Required” exhibit on Iranian.com.
You can follow the progress of our practice build for the Whitdel Arts Detroit exhibition “Anywhere But Here” on our wee slide show here. Sadly we were so whipped post build that we forgot to save the video file of us building…which I’m sure was very exciting if you were to speed it up…probably would have killed you if you had watch it in real time. It nearly killed us.
A BODY OF ARTISTS AND THEIR BODIES AT WORK
Crazy Wisdom Book Store’s quarterly publication has a fabulous article about myself and 3 other women who do creative work around body issues, self esteem and size acceptance. Written by Syndy Sweeney, I am honored to have been invited to be part of this wonderful group of women and of course to have my story and my work highlighted in such a beautiful way for the community to learn about.
I often feel like I’m working in a vacuum, people you think know what you have been doing don’t really have a clue…you send out press releases…put yourself out there publicly in exhibitions and in social networking websites and when your message does not follow the majority’s beliefs, it’s like yelling in a sound proof booth. I am always sure that the reason I don’t get my work in certain exhibitions is because the curators don’t believe what I am saying, they don’t want to! My message is not universally accepted and even though the Art World loves to step on people’s toes and piss the viewers off, there are some things that seem to be too hard to swallow even for them. Nobody wants to accept that diets do the total opposite to what they were intended to do, and that all that money that we have put into it, all the scientific research, everything we have been told is wrong and our quest for body beautiful is totally pointless and a waste of time and money.
It is so wonderful to have such an outstanding platform to help me spread the message that most people just want to ignore. It’s okay to be fat, happy, productive and successful and chasing ridiculous beauty standards and erroneous medical information all these years has been a massive waste of our resources, personal, environmental, social, spiritual, well in every way shape or form.
We all get old, whether we are thin or fat, we all die eventually no matter what size we are, and thin people can be as depressed and weight obsessed as fat people, have diabetes and heart conditions, clogged arteries, high blood pressure, cholesterol, and cancer. We need to start living our lives now in the bodies we have and stop waiting for the perfect number on a scale or size on a rack. Please check out my Press Page to read my story on this blog. If it rings true to you and you are still on that crazy diet merry-go-round…STOP, send my your diet books and start to listen to your own body again. It has the answers, Oprah and Dr. OZ do not.
Happy New Year to all of you…and Happy Birthday to me!!! 52 and I’m not going to make a commitment to be a certain weight by the time I’m 53, 54 or 55, I’m going to enjoy my life now, at this weight, in this body, and with this level of energy.