March 10, 2010
When: March 31 - June 15, 2010
Where: Odegaard Undergraduate Library, University of Washington, Seattle
Seattle – An art exhibit portraying photos about the Gaza war and blockade by award-winning Palestinian photojournalists, encaustic paintings from local refugee children of different countries and Jewish & Palestinian artists, a photo-essay about medical relief and peace building efforts in Palestine, and a sculpture created by an Iraqi-American artist will be on display at the University of Washington’s Odegaard Undergraduate Library starting this spring, March 30 - June 15.
"Global to Local: Narratives of War, Resilience and Peace" is curated by Palestinian-American local artist and public health worker, Amineh Ayyad, a UW graduate. The show features four separate exhibits (to view exhibits, please click on titles below):
“The Way I see It,”
“Fragile and So Strong,”
“Where Should We Go After the Last Frontiers?”
The art exhibit is timed to be on display during the University of Washington 8th Annual Western Regional International Health Conference: War & Global Health
Ayyad says that art is a common language that all humans understand, and is universally used to communicate emotions and narratives. “I wanted to curate an art exhibit as a way to display qualitative and quantitative data about war, siege and displacement and their impact on health. I believe this is an effective method to communicate such information to the university community, especially to the thousands of undergraduate students who visit the library daily.”
“I choose diverse mediums deliberately, in an attempt to capture the visible and invisible narratives of people,” Ayyad added. “Photojournalism to show a portrait of daily life realities in Gaza through the lenses of Gazan photographers, encaustic paintings of refugee youth to tell narratives of war and its cross-generational effects, a photo-essay documenting the delivery of health services and peace building amidst conflict through the perspective of a health worker; and a stone sculpture of the mythological character, Icarus, to make meaning of an attempt to escape imprisonment and defy limitations."
The images from "The Way I See It" are from award winning Palestinian photojournalists Khalil Hamra and Eman Mohammed. Hamra and Mohammed’s work document the events in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead, the 23-day attacks launched by the Israeli military in December 27, 2008 and the 1000-day Israeli blockade. Exhibit curator Amineh Ayyad includes the original captions to weave a narrative of the realities of daily life in Gaza, the way Khalil and Eman see them. While Khalil’s work depicts more of the ravaged Gaza, Eman’s work captures the resilience and determination of people to carry on with their lives amidst destruction in the aftermath of war and ongoing violence and siege. The photo exhibit is accompanied by educational panels on Gaza, and the mental health effects of war and siege on civilians.
“Fragile and So Strong” includes the work of refugee youth. The purpose of this project is to provide a safe space for refugee youth to strengthen their resilience and skills, and to promote peace and healing through art and cultural programs. Amineh Ayyad uses a unique mixed-media encaustic painting technique, which she first learned about through a workshop with and the work of Jewish-American artist Janet Nechama Miller based in Seattle. Miller's work is on display as part of this exhibit. Ayyad and Miller use encaustic painting methods to portray their own expressions about the Israeli and Palestinian conflict and history.
In "Besieged," Amineh Ayyad documents the work of the Palestinian Medical Relief Society's (PMRS) teams in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. The essay captures the bravery and camaraderie of a group of doctors, community health workers and volunteers who are determined to reach the most remote villages under siege. Amineh's essay reveals PMRS's commitment to peace and justice through empowering communities at the village level, and collaborating on medical relief & health research with diverse groups including the Israeli Physicians for Human Rights. In addition, her narrative sheds light on the psychological impact of war on these medical teams.
Amineh worked, and traveled extensively throughout the West Bank and Gaza during the Israeli armed incursions in 2002, and in 2008.
"Where Should We Go After the Last Frontiers?" part of the exhibition includes "Icarus,” a sculpture created by Iraqi Kurdish American artist Sabah Al-Dhaher. The exhibit curator, Amineh Ayyad uses the sculpture of the mythological character Icarus to weave the various narratives she brings together in this exhibition. "In this variation of the story of Icarus, he has survived the fall and he is in a state of contemplation," says Ayyad.
For more information, please contact Amineh Ayyad, exhibit director & curator at adaptinternational[at]gmail.com.
This exhibit will begin traveling east on June 15th, 2010. Please contact Amineh to arrange for a show in your area.
Please click here for directions to the exhibit at the University of Washington’s Odegaard Undergraduate Library.
Spring Quarter 2010 hours, ( March 29-June 11)
Mon -Thu open 24 hours
Fri closes 9PM
Sat open 12PM - 9PM
Sun open 12PM