Let your breath and mind pulse as though it is water

Repost from @roco137:

Letting your breath and mind pulse as though it is water. Taking time for self reflection and healing is important when we allow ourselves to grow from these past two years.

Here are three storytellers expressing their reflections from their time in nationwide quarantine. Read and listen to their whole story in our main gallery today as part of our current Warp & Weft exhibit curated by @mara__ahmed.
@zazafl @electrajesh @shadia_something

#TheWarpAndWeft #FaceToFace #Storytelling #VideoExhibition #QuarantineReflections #TakeAMomentToBreath #Inhale #Exhale #BreathAsTheTide

Meet the Storytellers Behind The Warp & Weft

Last week on April 21st, 11 writers and artists from the Warp & Weft met one another on Zoom and shared important insights about their stories. We had storytellers joining us from Gaza/Palestine, the Gambia, Ireland, California and New York. It was a rich and dynamic discussion. Multidimensional – for the personal is always political. Pls check it out and visit the Warp & Weft [Face to Face] at Rochester Contemporary Art Center. It will be on until May 7th.

bilquis bano edhi – the mother of orphans

a tribute to bilquis bano edhi (august 1947 – april 2022), the mother of orphans, who together with her husband abdul sattar edhi created the edhi foundation, pakistan’s largest welfare organization. the stats are incredible: 50,000 orphans and 20,000 abandoned infants rescued, more than 40,000 nurses trained, a fleet of 1,800 ambulances, 28 rescue boats, and a helicopter for air ambulance service. it all started with Rs 5,000 and the drive to do god’s work and help others. no nobel prize for empowered people from the global south, but today i read a tribute to bilquis edhi by a young woman who was abandoned as an infant, was raised by bari amman (bilquis edhi as she was called by her many adopted children), went to school and won scholarships, studied law and is now a successful executive. thank u bilquis ji for all u have done. the stars will shine brighter as u are welcomed to eternal life. inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un.

[artwork by @maria_riaz_illustrates]

#biquisedhi #bilquisbanoedhi #abdulsattaredhi #edhifoundation #godswork #helpingothers #motheroforphans

opening of the warp & weft [face to face] at roco

the opening of the warp & weft [ face to face ] at @roco137 was all about community. and the rochester community did not disappoint. so many people i love gathered in one space to listen to and connect with an archive of stories in all its splendid human diversity. thank u rochester <3 more pictures on instagram @mara__ahmed

#warpweft #warpweftf2f #thewarpweft #archiveofstories #audioarchive #storytelling #oralstorytelling #multilingualarchive #community #artandcommunity #rochestercontemporaryartcenter #rochesterny #artandactivism #wearethearchive

The Warp & Weft [Face to Face] opening on April 1st, 2022

Erica Bryant: Deep in the pandemic, Rajesh and I got an email from the great artist Mara Ahmed asking us each to write a story about what we were experiencing and to send her a recording of it. She wanted to capture the year in an oral storytelling project, an alternative communal tapestry, woven with words in diverse languages, from diverse people across the globe.

That was September 2020. In 2021, Mara published The Warp and Weft stories in an online archive that could be accessed while we were all separated because of the virus. Today, thank God, we can gather again. And The Warp & Weft [Face to Face] will open in person at Rochester Contemporary Art Center tonight, April 1, from 6-9 p.m. Mara will speak about her work at 6:30.

The pandemic stories that Mara collected from people from Pakistan to Belgium to Brighton, NY, will be heard in the gallery, set against a beautiful projection of the speakers’ portraits, like those you see below, that was made by Rajesh.

My story is about George Floyd and my great grandfather.

Rajesh’s is about isolation, introspection and extrospection.

You can hear our stories and the others at ROCO, 137 East Ave. Or online.
The exhibition at RoCo will be open through May 7.

Languages other than English

Languages other than English are rich and beautiful! Expand your mind and world.

Repost from Rochester Contemporary Art Center:

When you visit The Warp & Weft [ Face to Face ] you will see and hear stories in Arabic, Bosnian, French, Hindi, Kashmiri, Spanish and Urdu. The Warp & Weft archive preferences each storyteller’s native language. While English translations will be available online and at arm’s length at the gallery, we’re excited to offer visitors an experience with languages they may not understand but whose sounds and script might invite them to learn more.

Excerpt from story by Surbhi Dewan featured in The Warp & Weft [Face to Face] opening April 1. #SoundOn

Artist Talk on April 1 at 630pm

I will be speaking at the opening on April 1st at 630pm! Exhibition opens at 6pm at Rochester Contemporary Art Center, 137 East Ave, Rochester.
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Repost from @roco137:

Meet @mara__ahmed, the curator of The Warp & Weft archive!

Mara is an interdisciplinary artist, activist filmmaker, and founder of production company #NeelumFilms. She was born in Lahore, Pakistan and educated in Belgium, Pakistan, and the United States. Her work has been exhibited at galleries in New York and California, and her documentaries have been broadcast on @pbs and screened at international film festivals.

Mara is interested in dialogue across both physical and psychological boundaries. In 2017, she gave a Gara talk about the meaning of borders and nationalism entitled “The edges that blur.” Her first film, The Muslims I Know, premiered at the @eastmanmuseum, in 2008 and started a dialogue between American Muslims and people of other faiths. After this, Mara released her second film, Pakistan One on One (2011), and a third, A Thin Wall (2015), which premiered at the @bradfordlitfest, won a Special Jury Prize atthe Amsterdam Film Festival, and was acquired by @mubiindia.

Mara is currently working on The Injured Body, a film about racism in America, focusing exclusively on the voices of women of color.

The Warp & Weft [ Face to Face ], the physical rendition of Mara’s online audio archive, opens at RoCo on First Friday April 1 and continues through May 7. Read more on our website.

#TheWarpAndWeft #TheWarpAndWeftFaceToFace

Meet the storytellers behind The Warp & Weft

On April 21st at 6pm EST, join Rochester Contemporary Art Center for a virtual conversation with The Warp & Weft writers, artists and activists. They will share their reflections about 2020 and the inspiration/process behind their stories. Together they will help highlight the importance of archiving diverse voices and the crucial role storytelling can play in times of uncertainty and upheaval.

Our speakers will connect with us from Gaza (Palestine), the Gambia, Ireland, Oakland (California), Rochester (New York) and Long Island. Registration is necessary. Pls register at the RoCo website.

Speakers (in alphabetical order):

Ashwaq Abualoof
Darien Lamen
Deema K. Shehabi
Erica Bryant
Ian Layton
Kaddijatou Fatty
Karen Faris
Quajay Donnell
Rose Pasquarello Beauchamp
Selena Fleming
Zoë Lawlor

The Warp & Weft [Face to Face] at RoCo

In 2020 and later in early 2021, I was honored to work with an international group of truth-tellers, writers, poets, artists and activists who shared their personal stories and reflections. We built a multilingual archive together called the Warp & Weft, because it wove the threads of our thoughts and emotions together. Now a year later, the Warp & Weft [Face to Face] is coming to Rochester Contemporary Art Center as a multimedia exhibition. It opens on April 1st with an artist’s talk at 6:30pm. You will be able to meet some of the brilliant storytellers at a Zoom event on April 21st starting at 6pm. And you will have a chance to see the exhibition at RoCo until May 7th. This is beyond exciting – I hope that you can join us!

‘Visit The Warp & Weft [Face to Face] at RoCo and immerse yourself in a colorful tapestry of stories. You can social distance, yet walk through the material expression of the archive and experience the beauty of human ideas and kinship.’

Thank you Bleu Cease, Rajesh Barnabas, and the RoCo team for all the hard work in bringing this project to life.

#thewarpandweft #thewarpweft #thewarpweftfacetoface #thewwf2f #multilingualarchive #archive #storytelling #oralhistories #yearofthepandemic #roco137 #multimedia #multimediaexhibition #maraahmedstudio #maraahmed

From Lost or Found

‘I have been lucky so far. I have not lost anyone in my immediate family, although I have lost most of my aunts and uncles – my parents’ siblings. Living in the U.S., away from extended family, it is difficult to mourn loved ones back in Pakistan and make such losses real. It’s like being in a state of suspension – unmoored and unsubstantial. Like you, I have lost cities, continents, friends, homes, communities, and languages. Always there is this ache in one’s heart. A sorrowful mourning.
Recently, I lost Rochester, New York, a city I knew and loved for 18 years. A city where my kids grew up and where I became an activist filmmaker.’

From Lost or Found, my collab with art historian Claudia Pretelin, published in Mason Street Literary Magazine.

#masonstreet #literarymagazine #lostorfound #conversation #exchange #art #memory #places #languages #becoming #home #migration #mexico #pakistan #belgium #unitedstates #photographs #photography #images #collage #literature #culture #instrumentsofmemory #claudiapretelin #maraahmed

Lost or Found

So proud of this beautiful conversation and exchange of memories, places, languages and photographs between myself and my dearest friend Claudia Pretelin (an accomplished art historian). Thank you to Kathleen Kern for her editing support and to Celeste Schantz for publishing this gorgeous issue. Always an honor to work with brilliant women <3

From Lost or Found, in Mason Street Literary Magazine:

‘The following is a portion of the correspondence between Mara Ahmed and Claudia Pretelin. Ahmed is an interdisciplinary artist and activist filmmaker based on Long Island, New York. Claudia is an art historian, independent researcher, and arts administrator based in Los Angeles, California. The two women collaborated on several projects, starting with Current Seen, Rochester’s biennial for contemporary art. In 2020, Claudia interviewed Ahmed for Instruments of Memory, a site she curates and which documents conversations with women in the arts. As a response, Ahmed decided to interview Pretelin about her work, but in the form of a dialogue about art, memory, language, and becoming. They hope to continue this conversation over the years and capture the continuing shifts in their lives and work. Their correspondence is a collage of text, images, and references both literary and cultural. It is intimate and global, straddling distances between Mexico, Pakistan, Belgium and the US.‘

War Hurts Everyone Rally

Michael Boucher:

Grateful for all of the organizers and speakers who helped to put together the “War Hurts Everyone” rally tonight in front of the Federal Building. So many powerful stories of the intersections of the situation in Ukraine with so many other situations of injustice, displacement, occupation, oppression, human rights violations and war – all sharing threads of the abuse of power, racial capitalism and forms of imperialism.

Places like Ukraine, Syria, Yemen, Myanmar, Palestine, Somalia, the strees of the United States (and so many other places) all require our activism and outcry. In so many places, it is our government, our multinationals, our weapons manufacturers, our fossil fuel industry and our military suppliers who have vested interests in these conflicts and displacements.

I know that Mara and Pamela were named organizers of today (thank you!) and I know that many, many others helped to put it together and took risks in speaking their truths so that we might witness the intersections and rise up collectively. War hurts everyone, yes, but it does not hurt everyone in the same way or to the same extent.

International Women’s Day

On International Women’s Day, a tribute to the strength, beauty and resilience of Palestinian and Kashmiri women:

1) Thawra (Revolution). Malak Mattar, 2019
2) Habba Khatoon. Kayehaan Anjum Khan, Ink on Paper

#internationalwomensday #womenday #womensdayiseveryday #palestine #kashmir #palestinianwomen #kashmiriwomen #palestinewillbefree #kashmirwillbefree