my talk coming up on thursday

my upcoming talk on sept 7th at 12pm at matteo’s of huntington is in the huntington patch.

spent the whole day at the library yesterday writing my talk and organizing beautiful images and videos.

i will be sharing radical art and the work of malek alloula, ramon grosfoguel, laura mulvey, jean paul sartre, john berger, edward said, gilles teulie, frantz fanon, lalla essaydi, and aida muluneh.

we will be talking about the male gaze, the colonial lens, orientalist postcards, and ways of subverting or ‘returning’ that gaze. pls join us and be a part of the discussion.

u can register at huntingtonhistoricalsociety.org – hope to see u there!

This project is made possible with funds from the Statewide Community Regrant Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature and administered by The Huntington Arts Council, Inc.

Tickets are on sale

I am excited to announce that you can now buy tickets to the premiere of Return to Sender: Women of Color in Colonial Postcards & the Politics of Representation at Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington, NY, on Oct 1st at 2pm! Tickets are inexpensive because we want to include everyone. Reserve your spot now and pls share with friends and fam.

The film will be followed by a panel discussion led by three brilliant women. More about the panelists soon. Here is a film synopsis:

Return to Sender: Women of Color in Colonial Postcards & the Politics of Representation is a short, experimental film directed and produced by Mara Ahmed. It pushes the documentary medium in unexpected ways by opening with three contemporary South Asian American women who recreate British colonial postcards from the early 20th century. Dressed in lavish traditional attire and jewelry and shot exquisitely in a darkened studio, the women emulate the awkward poses of the postcard women, only to subvert the colonial male gaze and acquire autonomy by choosing an action of their own. This symbolic ‘returning’ of the Orientalist gaze is layered with discussions about Eurocentric beauty standards, representations of South Asian women in media and culture, stereotypes, othering, identity and belonging. The film hopes to create community by facilitating conversations about erasure and the politics of representation.

This project is made possible with funds from the Statewide Community Regrant Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature and administered by The Huntington Arts Council, Inc.

Return to Sender: Lunch & Learn coming up

I will be talking about my upcoming film ‘Return to Sender: Women of Color in Colonial Postcards & the Politics of Representaiton’ at the @huntingtonhistoricalsociety’s Lunch & Learn on Sept 7th at Matteo’s of Huntington. Pls join us. Tickets at HuntingtonHistoricalSociety.org

Best known for her non-linear interdisciplinary work, filmmaker Mara Ahmed produces documentaries, soundscapes, and artwork that trespass political borders and challenge colonial logics. Mara was born in Lahore and educated in Belgium, Pakistan, and the US. Her art practice reflects these displacements and multiplicities. Her documentaries have been broadcast on PBS and screened at international film festivals. She is currently working on The Injured Body, a documentary about racism in America. Mara will make a multimedia presentation about her NYSCA-funded project, Return to Sender: Women of Color in Colonial Postcards & the Politics of Representation.

She will provide some historical context for this project including the decision to focus on colonial postcards from the early 20th century, the construction of women of color as a phantasm, the male gaze and the objectification of women, as well as decolonial ways to challenge stereotypes. The presentation will include video, images, and literary excerpts. It will be designed to encourage a vibrant discussion.

Pricing: Members: $50, Non-Members: $60 [Includes three-course meal + wine + dessert]

When: Thursday Sept 7th, 12-2pm

Where: Matteo’s of Huntington, 300 W Jericho Turnpike, Huntington Station, NY

Register at HuntingtonHistoricalSociety.org

This project is made possible with funds from the Statewide Community Regrant Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature and administered by The Huntington Arts Council, Inc.

concert in brooklyn

spent the day in brooklyn yesterday hanging out with my cousin and close friend aliya apa. dinner at one more charm thai (where the massaman curry and eggplant with basil were yummy but the cheesecake right out of the freezer) and then off to prospect park to catch a ‘BRIC celebrate brooklyn’ concert featuring pakistani music star ali sethi. the park was full of people and alive with singing and dancing. sethi’s song ‘pasoori’ was a huge hit. stayed till the end then got some cranberry juice at barbes where there was more live music. this morning, i was super excited to learn that pakistan’s hamza khan has won the world junior squash championship in melbourne, becoming the first pakistani player to win the event since jansher khan 37 years ago. amazing!!!

sharing seeds at teatro yerbabruja

i got to share some of my writing and my translations of faiz ahmed faiz’s poetry yesterday at teatro yerbabruja’s firehouse gallery. bethany smith sang and so many wonderful musicians and poets shared their work. there was such diversity in terms of style and presentation, language and theme, medium and approach (i should have taken more pictures, it was a full house). it’s truly a blessing to have found this space, created by a woman of color, on long island. thank u everyone who organized, presented, shared and witnessed. an unforgettable night!