Palestinian Studies

Ruanne Abou-Rahme and Basel Abbas - May Amnesia Never Kiss Us On The Mouth | Gender & Body Politics: Art in the Middle East and its Diasporas Series

May Amnesia Never Kiss Us on the Mouth Poster

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

12:00 - 1:30 p.m.

Virtual Event. Registration required.

May Amnesia Never Kiss Us On The Mouth  website

In this on-line conversation with Palestinian artists Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, we will be discussing their latest project against the background of their wider art practice that is engaged in the intersections between performativity, political imaginaries, the body and virtuality. "May amnesia never kiss us on the mouth" examines how people are witness to and narrate experiences of violence, loss, erasure, displacement, and forced migration through performance.

This conversation will be the opening event to a series of talks, events and exhibitions jointly organized by CMES, Brown and the Middle East Institute at Columbia University to explore art, gender and body politics in relation to the Middle East and its diasporas.

Ruanne Abou-Rahme and Basel Abbas 
Nadje Al-Ali
Kathryn Spellman Poots

About the Gender & Body Politics: Arts in the Middle East and its Diasporas Series

In conversation with artists from the Middle East and North Africa as well as its diasporas, the series examines intersecting inequalities and body politics expressed, represented, and transgressed in both visual and performance art. Against the backdrop of war and conflict, the rise of authoritarian regimes, displacement and diaspora mobilization, Islamophobia, ongoing orientalist depictions, and challenges linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, this series explores the ways in which artists are informed by and/or contribute to anti-racist, transnational feminist and queer praxis.  

Looking closely at artistic production, this series will demonstrate how particular motifs, discourses, and forms are used and transposed to decenter and challenge personal and situated political themes, heteronormative gender regimes, racism, and other intersecting inequalities while investigating how human emotions and dissent can be mutually expressed and translated on a global scale. Looking closely at artistic expressions, our aim is to simultaneously challenge stereotypical depictions of Middle East gender norms, while creatively engaging a critique of existing gender-based inequalities. We will explore the questions of how do artists and cultural producers navigate the range of different positions in the continuum of transnational feminisms? In what ways do solidarity movements converge, align and resist through cultural production and artistic form?

The series will both feature artists online and host in-person events. We will be organizing exhibitions and musical performances to complement the series in locations around NYC and Providence.