museum of international folk art, santa fe

it’s a bit cooler today, with an off and on drizzle, so i decided to go to the museum of international folk art on museum hill. aitezaz wanted to stay home, relax and read. even before i entered the building, i was blown away by the plaza around which all the museums are located. the sky was doing its own thing and the light perfect for capturing darker hues and sharp details. the public sculptures in this city are exquisite.

santafe #museumofinternationalfolkart #folkart #art #drizzle #overcastday #perfectlightforphotography

mexican artist lola alvarez bravo

discovered the work of mexican artist lola alvarez bravo. loved how she captured scenes from rural indigenous mexican life, such as ‘burial at yalalag’ and ‘shark hunters’ in acapulco. her photographic portraits of frida kahlo are also full of nuance and delicate detail. she was one of the few mexican artists who experimented with photomontage (‘the dream of the drowned’) at the time. she was born in lagos de moreno in 1907.

lolaalvarezbravo #mexicanart #mexicanartist #rurallife #indigenousmexico #photography #photomontage

Filmmakers in Solidarity

filmmaker friends, pls read and sign here if u agree. this letter addresses the complete lack of diversity in the PBS system, which is supposed to represent “public media for all.” if i see another ken burns documentary…

“A census on the entire PBS system is overdue. In addition to boards of trustees and management, what is the demographic breakdown at the top producing stations of their Executive Producers and above-the-line teams, currently and historically? Data also needs to be collected on the programmers of all stations, as they collectively influence what is seen across the US. Until the scope of the problem is made public, how can it be solved?”

The Warp & Weft – Eighth Set of Stories

4 new Warp & Weft stories today! One about the strangeness of MMXX by Noelle Mirabal-Evans, wonderful reflections in Hindi by Surbhi Dewan, a story about birding and the northern cardinal by Kay Saleem, and another about rupture and repair by Yan Lehmann. Finally, a beautiful artistic response by Sarah Sills. Listen, read, look here.

Repost from Rochester Contemporary Art Center:

Head over to maraahmedstudio.com and listen to the newest stories from The Warp & Weft archive!

MMXX: Strange Times by Noelle Evans
You know, two thousand twenty in Roman numerals is M-M X-X. Double M double X. I’ve decided to refer to this year in this way for as long as it serves me. What a year it was for the fall of the Roman Empire. Right? It just feels fitting. [Photo: Madelyn Bradt]

Just Some Thoughts by Surbhi Dewan
Two thousand and twenty. As the year comes to an end, it feels like not much was accomplished. And yet, this year will stay with us for many years to come. I still can’t believe how in March, the whole world came to a standstill. The whole world frozen in time, as all of us retreated into our homes together.

My Spark Bird by Kalsoom Saleem
A spark bird is the bird that triggers an interest in birding or bird watching. For me it was the northern cardinal. [Photo: Zidaan Aamer]

Rupture and Repair By Ian Layton
It is on those particularly still and heavy days that I sit and remember the birth of the universe. The memory contained in my every cell. My mind’s eye catches the moment when life burst forth and set us on this divine course. [Photo: Evan Zachary]

Spark Feather by Sarah Sills: An artistic response to the archive

tahar rahim in ‘the serpent’

when i first saw tahar rahim in jacques audiard’s ‘a prophet,’ i knew we had struck gold. an actor of immense power and intensity. i thought he would be all over hollywood in no time, but he wasn’t. incomprehensible. glad things are changing. he was in ‘the mauritanian,’ a role for which he’s garnered praise. but he’s even more masterful (and completely in his element) in ‘the serpent’ (netflix). a disturbing character, performed deliciously. rahim is the son of algerian immigrants from oran, who settled in the eastern part of france. with all the islamophobic, racist grotesquerie going on in france, it does the heart good to see him come into his own as one of the most charismatic actors in the world.

The Warp & Weft – Seventh Set of Stories

4 new Warp & Weft stories today, including a stunning poem by Deema Shehabi, a story in Urdu about the meaning of life by Ayesha Javed, another about the books and people that shape us by Cathy Salibian, and a look at physics and the nature of reality by Shamoun Murtza. Finally, a beautiful musical response by Tom Davis. Listen and read here.

Repost from Rochester Contemporary Art Center:

You can now experience the newest set of stories from The Warp & Weft archive at maraahmedstudio.com

At Cathedral Grove: A Treatise on Vanishing by Deema K. Shehabi
Afternoon dialects beneath a redwood canopy: two children skip ahead; their feet grind the ground, crushing ferns, tearing tenebrous skulls of leaves. They giggle, while a vanishing world lies ahead of them. The spot where the sun abandons is where the light hangs briefly beneath a shoulder blade, then spreads. [Photo: Omar F. Khorsheed]

The Purpose of Life by Ayesha Javed
We are living in strange times. Hundreds of thousands of people have left this world on account of the pandemic. Their lives were just as valuable as yours or mine. This should be a moment of deep reflection for all of us.

The Right Words by Cathy Salibian
My oldest book is a small red hardcover of David Copperfield. I was maybe twelve years old when my father reached to a shelf in his study, pulled down that book and said to me a little shyly, “I see that you like to read. Maybe you will like this. I read it when I was just a little older than you.” [Photo: Kate Kressmann-Kehoe]

If A Tree Falls In The Forest by Shamoun Murtza
I’ll start with the disclaimer that I am not a Ph.D. My formal education in Physics reached its zenith with my concentration in Applied Physics for my bachelor’s degree. But I never stopped searching for the truth about the nature of our universe. Listen at your own risk, you have been warned.

The Sound Of Falling by Tom Davis: A musical response to the archive

The Warp & Weft: Sixth Set of Stories

4 new Warp & Weft stories today! A story in Urdu about the joys of volunteering by Fabeha Fazal, another about the solace of seclusion by Allyson Perkins, a story about lessons learned from the #BLM uprising by Nate Baldo, and one about the congregation of community and what we can learn from queer elders by Shirly Bahar. Finally, a gorgeous dance response by María José Rodríguez-Torrado. Listen, read, watch here.

Repost from Rochester Contemporary Art Center:

Head over to maraahmedstudio.com and listen to the newest stories from The Warp & Weft archive!

My Story In My Own Words by Fabeha Fazal
I would like to share some life experiences with you that might be worth sharing. I was born in Delhi and brought up in Aligarh. My dad was a professor at Aligarh Muslim University. We were raised with the idea that life had two important goals: acquiring the highest education possible and savoring the best food.

Consolation in Isolation by Allyson Perkins
Reticent was a word my mom used to describe me. I remember she said it with ease as if it were just a matter of fact. She was speaking to my kindergarten teacher who had growing concerns about my ability to socialize. [Photo: Rebekah Ostrander]

A Moral Reckoning by Nathaniel Baldo
The ongoing Black Lives Matter uprising has helped further my recognition of the depth of structural racism and bigotry here in Rochester and across the country. I grew up in Brighton, New York, an adjacent, relatively affluent suburb. I’ve tried to take time and reflect on messages and boundaries that were taught from an early age… [Photo: Adam Eaton]

February 2020: On Fire by Shirly Bahar
February 2021 marks 1 year since we last went to the movies. Remember going to the movies – that act of coming together as an audience, a short-term congregation of community, to share the experience of spectatorship for a couple of hours. On this one year anniversary, I am reflecting back on that experience, trying to retrieve what we have taken with us, as well as left behind us, on our last night so far at the movie theater.

Nostalgia (longing) by María José Rodríguez-Torrado: A dance response to the archive

Islamic Feminisms, Alternative Lifeworlds, Decoloniality

Dear friends, next week, on April 14 at 10:25 am EST, I will be teaching U of R students an online class on ‘Islamic Feminisms, Alternative Life-worlds, Decoloniality.’ Tanya, whose class I am teaching, has been kind enough to open it up to everyone. My presentation will have some kick-ass ideas (articulated by kick-ass women like Alia Al-Saji, Saba Mahmood, and Francoise Verges). It will have stunning artwork created by POCs and video clips that will spark an interesting discussion. I am linking to some of the reading materials in comments. Pls let me know if you’d like to join us and I will send you the zoom link as soon as we have one. Hope you can make it!

The Warp & Weft – Fifth Set of Stories

4 new stories from the Warp & Weft including a poem by Shadia Nilforoush, a story about ableism, isolation and risk-taking by Luticha A Doucette, a story from Belgium by Pascale Lorette, and another about the importance of touch by Roberta Schwartz Arlo Baldo. Finally, a beautiful response to the archive by Kirin Makker. Listen, read, engage with art and stories from the human family here.

Repost from Rochester Contemporary Art Center:

Head over to maraahmedstudio.com and listen to the newest stories from The Warp & Weft archive!

An Identity in Tendrils by Shadia Heenan Nilforoush
Chota Bhai, my baby brother
His skin is four shades – possibly seven – darker than mine. [Photo: Luke Seward]

Risk by Luticha Andre Doucette
In the beforetimes, I took a risk. Social isolation is not something that is new to me as a disabled person. When I think back on the course of my life, the majority of it has been spent in isolation. This isolation is due to no fault of my own, it is just a function of ableism in this country. [Photo: Erica Jae]

Coronavirus, l’épidémie à nos portes par Pascale Lorette
Coronavirus, the epidemic at our doorstep by Pascale Lorette: I should also mention those magical moments, every evening at 8 p.m., throughout Belgium, when we would meet at our windows or on our terraces to applaud healthcare workers. What beautiful sharing, what an emotion! [Artwork: Sam Sam]

It’s About The Touch by Roberta Schwartz
While sewing those masks made from delicately woven fabric as filmy as a cobweb, I felt the presence of the Jewish tailors and seamstresses who came before me in my family, and the textile workers in Hebron, who struggle to survive. [Photo: Adam Eaton]

Touch by Kirin Makker: An artistic response to the archive

The Warp & Weft is a multilingual archive of stories that seeks to capture the 2020 zeitgeist. The archive is curated by interdisciplinary artist and activist filmmaker @mara__ahmed. A set of new stories will be released each week via RoCo and Mara’s social media, during the course of ‘Last Year on Earth.’

Artist Coalition Announces 10-week “Strike” Against MoMA

“We refuse to acknowledge the separation of the museum from the rest of society,” the group says. “We see MoMA as existing on the same plane as the violence of the ruling class that has controlled it…As MoMA winds down and we extract our imagination from its orbit, our energies, resources and labor power will be freed up for creating alternatives in its place,” the group adds. “Alternatives controlled by workers and communities, not billionaires and their enablers. This could be a first step for a city-wide process.” — yes, please! More here.

The Warp & Weft – Fourth Set of Stories

4 new warp & weft stories today including one from gaza (palestine) by Ashwaq Auf, one from the gambia by Khadee’ja Fatty, another from toronto by way of london by Amra Jamal-Ahmad, and one about healing the collective body by Michael Boucher. finally a beautiful poetic response to the archive by Andrea Anderson Gluckman. pls read and listen.

Repost from Rochester Contemporary Art Center:

Head over to maraahmedstudio.com and listen to the newest stories from The Warp & Weft archive!

Harsher Than War by Ashwaq Abualoof
The feeling of being isolated from the outside world because we live in the cage of the Gaza Strip has become a feeling of impenetrability, as if we are immune to the spread of the coronavirus. [Photo: Soltan Khaled]

Pay It Forward by Kaddijatou Fatty
My keen interest in the performing arts, as a tool for social development in The Gambia, has motivated me to pursue training in the arts. Since 2011, I have received intensive training in acting, speech and voice production, singing, stage management and scriptwriting. I have discovered that the arts are a much more effective means of communicating with people, especially when working with children and youths.

Wistful While I Work by Amra Jamal-Ahmad
I have been a commuter for my entire working life. That’s 32 years of trains, subway trains and buses getting me to my job in the city. For 27 years that city was London, England, and now since 2016, it is Toronto, Canada.

Our Body is Trying to Heal by Mike Boucher
I have been reflecting on healing and hope in recent years, in part because my work as a social worker and counselor immerses me in this conversation on a daily basis. [Photo: Lynne Boucher]

“wadi” by andrea a. gluckman: A poetic response to the archive

Listen to/read the full stories here.

The Warp & Weft is a multilingual archive of stories that seeks to capture the 2020 zeitgeist. The archive is curated by interdisciplinary artist and activist filmmaker @maraahmed. A set of new stories will be released each week via RoCo and Mara’s social media, during the course of ‘Last Year on Earth.’