Heba Amin

“Project Speak2Tweet” featured in Süddeutsche Zeitung

Category : interviews/press October 8, 2016

Project Speak2Tweet” featured in Süddeutsche Zeitung 21/08/2016 (from the exhibition “Beton” at Kunsthalle Wien)

The Earth is an Imperfect Ellipsoid

Category : exhibitions June 25, 2016

Zilberman Gallery project space is pleased to announce Heba Y. Amin’s project exhibition “The Earth is an Imperfect Ellipsoid” which will take place between 18 May and 2 July 2016.

The Earth is an Imperfect Ellipsoid is a land surveillance project that utilizes Al-Bakri’s “Kitab al-Masalik wal-Mamalik” (Book of Roads and Kingdoms), an eleventh-century Arabic geography text describing major trade routes in West Africa under the Islamic Empire. Today, the original manuscript only exists in fragments. In 2014, Heba Amin embarked on a five-month journey along the same routes, starting in Nigeria. With a theodolite, she documented the contemporary geographies of villages and cities missing from the manuscript. Using “Kitab al-Masalik wal-Mamalik” as a guide, the project critiques the authored accounts of merchants, traders and travelers who describe geographies through sexually explicit descriptions of the women they encounter. She secretly recorded her interactions with border-patrol officers to relay the flirty negotiations and sexual dynamics of bureaucratic hierarchy. Amin flips the male gaze by surveying and surveilling, critiquing the predatory view of landscape and the exoticization of women’s bodies in relation to geography.


Exhibition Catalog here: http://galerizilberman.com/images/exhibitions/HA_foy_60x30.pdf
For more information, please contact Zeynep Temiz at zeynep@galerizilberman.com

Newsletter, February 2016

Category : exhibitions, news February 19, 2016

Newsletter, Feb 2016

I have had an incredibly busy start to the year! A lot of very exciting things are happening! But first and foremost, I am very happy to announce the big news: IT IS NOW OFFICIAL I have now joined and am being represented by the wonderful people at Galeri Zilberman in Istanbul. Stay tuned for upcoming exhibitions!

6_AsBirdsFlyingFilm still “As Birds Flying/Kama Tohalleq al Teyour” 2016


Jan 22: My short article “The Question of Artistic Freedom” posted on Doppiozero reflecting on my involvement (with my students) in the AtWork Cairo workshop at Darb 1718. Read it here: http://www.doppiozero.com/materiali/why-africa/question-artistic-freedom

Jan 22-26, Santa Barbara: I took part in the “After Tahrir: Egyptian Revolution Experience and Future Visions” conference with an incredible roster of people doing incredible work in and about Egypt. I gave my paper talk “Techno-Social Dreams: Digital Remembrance in the Egyptian Revolution” and screened select films from “Project Speak2Tweet” in the “Egyptian Insurgency Film Festival”. More information here: http://aftertahrir.net/

Jan 28, London: I was honored to have been invited by Serpentine Galleries and artist Simon Denny to take part in a panel on Culturehacking. We talked about networks, power, revolution and surveillance with Charlotte Higgins (moderator), Simon Denny (artist) Brett Scott (author), Ryan Gallagher (journalist, The Intercept), Heba Y. Amin (artist). See the full post-presentation discussion here: https://vimeo.com/155505775

Culturehacking: A Panel with Simon Denny, Heba Amin, Ryan Gallagher and Brett Scott, in conversation with Charlotte Higgins from Serpentine Galleries on Vimeo.

Jan 30 – Apr 10, Hamburg: Opening of the exhibition “Fluidity” curated by Bettina Steinbrügge (Kunstverein in Hamburg), Nina Möntmann (Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm) and Vanessa Joan Müller (Kunsthalle Vienna).

DEU, Hamburg, "Fluidity"-Ausstellung Kunstverein Hamburg, 2016, Copyright photo: Fred Dott

DEU, Hamburg, “Fluidity”-Ausstellung Kunstverein Hamburg, 2016, Copyright photo: Fred Dott

50 years later: The dematerialization of the art object from 1966 to 2016 is a cross-reference show on the permanent state of transformation which surrounds us, focused on the so-called conceptual art that questions the world we live in. A world in which the old forms—of work, of behavior, of art—no longer fit and new forms have yet to be outlined.

Sarah Abu Abdallah, Heba Amin, Eleanor Antin, Darren Bader, Tyler Coburn, Simon Denny, Jason Dodge, Maria Eichhorn, Dora Garcia, Liam Gillick, Melanie Gilligan, Goldin+Senneby, Pierre Huyghe, Roberto Jacoby, Hanne Lippard, Lee Lozano, Mathias Poledna, Mladen Stilinovic, UBERMORGEN, more info here: http://www.kunstverein.de/englisch/exhibitions/current/20160129.php

Jan 29, Rotterdam: “The Arabian Street Artists” screening “Homeland is Not a Series” at the International Film Festival in Rotterdam with Field of Vision. More info here: https://iffr.com/en/2016/films/field-of-vision


Feb 2-7, Berlin: I was invited to take part in Transmediale this year on various panels: “Panic Room Session: Post-Digital Anxiety” moderated by Clemens Apprich, Diana McCarty with: Heba Y. Amin, Bani Brusadin, Özge Çelikaslan, David Garcia, Brian Holmes, Eric Kluitenberg, Elizabeth Losh Pit Schultz, Alper Şen, Nishant Shah, Clemens Apprich, Diana McCarty; “Five Years After” with Esra’a Al Shafei, Heba Y. Amin, Lara Baladi, Özge Çelikaslan, Alper Şen, moderated by Oliver Lerone Schultz; “MediaActs” with Heba Y. Amin, David Garcia, Eric Kluitenberg, Simona Levi, moderated by Clemens Apprich. Listen to the “MediaActs” audio archive here: http://2016.transmediale.de/content/mediaacts
More info about Transmediale here: http://2016.transmediale.de/

Feb 9, Hamburg: Artist talk, Kunstverein in Hamburg, Heba Amin in conversation with Nadine Droste

Feb 12, Berlin: After Sara Fattahi’s film COMA, we talked about POWER at Woche der Kritik Berlin.
In the face of political power and its violence, digital imagery is in an asymmetric position. It does, however, challenge power relations within cinema. To what aim and how? Debate guests: Fadi Abdelnour (Artistic Director of Alfilm Film Festival), Heba Amin (Artist), Jay Weissberg (Variety film critic and Artistic Director of Pordenone Silent Film Festival). Moderator: Joseph Fahim (Woche der Kritik) Full discussion here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52QMhyTlpZs


Feb 14-15, Berlin: BERLINALE PREMIERE SCREENING of my new short film “As Birds Flying/Kama Tohalleq al Teyour”. More info here: https://www.berlinale.de/en/programm/berlinale_programm/datenblatt.php?film_id=201614559#tab=filmStills.
My film was also featured on artnet.com’s “The Ultimate Guide to All Things at the Berlin Film Festival” https://news.artnet.com/art-world/art-guide-berlin-film-festival-426239

hebaBerlinale     ArabianStreetArtists4
Left: Photo courtesy of Sally Tantawy Mansour
Right: “Homeland is Watermelon” courtesy of The Arabian Street Artists
Feb 19 – May 1, Warsaw: “The Arabian Street Artists” are taking part in the exhibition “Making Use: Life in Postartistic Times” at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw which addresses one of the fundamental postulates of twentieth-century avant-garde movements: the mutual penetration or even fusion of art and everyday life. More info here: http://makinguse.artmuseum.pl/en/

Feb 24 – May 8, Marrakech: I am very excited to share my new work “The Earth is an Imperfect Ellipsoid” at the Marrakech Biennale with the parallel projects. More info here: http://www.marrakechbiennale.org/parallel-projects/artists

MARCH 2016

March 19, Dubai: Screening of “As Birds Flying / Kama Tohalleq al Teyour” at Art Dubai Film

MAY 2016

May 3, Dakar: I will be among a roster of 65 stellar artists selected by curator Simon Njami for Dak’Art 2016. More info here: https://news.artnet.com/art-world/dakar-biennial-2016-415733. I was also selected as one of “seven of the artists to look forward to this May” by True Africa: http://trueafrica.co/lists/true-loves-look-7-artists-exhibiting-dakart-biennale-2016/#.VrKUGXljuLs.facebook

May 17, Istanbul: I will have my first project exhibition at Galeri Zilberman’s project space. More info soon.


‘The Arabian Street Artists’ press

Category : interviews/press October 25, 2015



“Arabian Street Artists” Bomb Homeland: Why we Hacked an Award-Winning Series
“Graffiti artists explain: Why ‘Homeland is watermelon’ went viral” (CNN)
‘Homeland is not a Series’ Film produced by Field of Vision


The Intercept, Eric Hynes “Interview With Heba Yehia Amin, Caram Kapp, and Don Karl of ‘Homeland is not a Series'” (US)
Slate, Willa Paskin “An Interview With the Graffiti Artist Who Snuck Anti-Homeland Graffiti Onto the Homeland Set” (US)
Huck Magazine, Alex King “Video: The street artists who bombed primetime with ‘Homeland is racist’ graffiti” (US)
Al Jazeera, Stephanie Abraham “Homeland hacker challenges media portrayals of Muslims” (QA)
Exberliner, Edmund Meinerts “Heba Amin: Graffiti, racism and watermelons” (DE)
Porkings Policy Review “Episode 42: The Homeland Hackers” (US)
CBC: “’Homeland is racist:’ Graffiti artists dupe show producers with Arabic tags (CA)
BBC: “Street artists explain ‘homeland is Racist’ graffiti” (UK)
Radio Columbia: “Heba Amin, la grafitera que se coló en Homeland” (CO)
AJ+: “‘Homeland Is Racist’ Graffiti Artists Sneak Messages on The Show” (QA)
Sky News: “Graffiti Branding Hit TV Show As ‘Racist’ Gets Past Producers” (UK)
CNN: “’Homeland is racist’: Artists hide subversive graffiti in hit TV show” (US)
RBB: Homeland und die arabischen Graffiti (DE)



**New York Times, James Poniewozik “’Homeland,’ Graffiti and the Problem of Only Seeing Squibbly” (US)**
**The Conversation, Simon Willmetts “Homeland, Snowden, and fictional defences of CIA” (UK)**
**The National, Michael Karam “Homeland’s portrayal of Lebanon is damagingly misleading” (UAE)**
**The Guardian, Marina Hyde “The latest twist in Homeland’s racist plot: the realistic graffiti episode” (UK)**
**The Washington Post, Kevin M. Jones “How protestors used Arabic to subvert Western influence – long before the ‘Homeland’ graffiti” (US)**
**Cracked, Tara Marie “6 Iconic Works of Art With Brutal Insults Hidden in Them” (US)**
**artist picks

The New York Times, Michael Rock  “The Ever-Evolving Typographic Life of the Arabic Language” (US)
New York Times, Dan Bilefsky and Mona Boshnaq “Streets Artists Infiltrat ‘Homeland’ With Subversive Graffiti” (US)
Washington Post, Elahe Izadi “Artists got ‘Homeland is racist’ Arabic graffiti into the latest episode of ‘Homeland'” (US)
Buzzfeed, Sarah Yasin “Graffiti Artists Write “Homeland Is Racist” In Arabic on The Show’s Set in Berlin” (US)
Time, Denver Nicks “Arab Artists Sneak Anti-Homeland Graffiti Onto the Show” (US)
NBC, Emmanuelle Saliba “’Homeland is Racist’: Artists Plant Messages in Hit Cable Series” (US)
MPR News, Bob Collins “Former Minnesota student pulls off ‘Homeland is racist’ protest” (US)
Gawker, Brendan O’Connor “Arabian Street Artists Got “Homeland Is Racist” Graffiti onto Show’s Latest Episode” (US)
The Pool, Rachel Shabi “Homeland *is* racist. And it has a problem with women” (US)
Vulture, E. Alex Jung “How Artists Hacked Into ‘Homeland’ Set and Graffitied ‘Homeland is racist’” (US)
Reuters “Artists who made ‘racist’ graffiti on ‘Homeland’ seek changes” (PK)
Hyperallergic, Claire Voon “Street Artists Hack ‘Homeland’ With Arabic Graffiti” (US)
Huffington Post, Stephennie Mulder “Subverting the Script:’Homeland’ Graffiti Artists Use Same Techniques as Native Americans” (US)
Artforum “Egyptian Street Artists Sneak Messages of Protest onto Showtime’s ‘Homeland’” (US)
NPR, Laura Wagner “Street Artists Hired By ‘Homeland’ Hide Accusations of Show’s Racism in Plain Sight” (US)
Global Post “Artists sneak ‘Homeland is racist’ jibe on to hit TV show set (US)
The Atlantic, Krishnadev Calamur “A Subversive Act on the Set of ‘Homeland’” (US)
Common Dreams, Sarah Lazare “Set Artists Hack ‘Homeland’ to Expose Show’s Racist Narrative” (US)
Deadline, Nancy Tartaglione “’Homeland’ is Racist’ Graffiti Airs on Showtime Series; Showrunner Alex Gansa Admires Act of “Artistic Sabotage””
Zeit Online, Felix Stephan “Das grenzt an Propaganda” (DE)
Deutsche Welle, Elizabeth Grenier “Artists plug ‘Homeland is racist’ graffiti in the show” (DE)
Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Ramy Shoeib “Graffit – Kuenstler verhoehnen “Homeland” –Serie” (DE)
evangelisch.de “Datenschutz ist eine Wassermelone” (DE)
Bento, Ole Reissmann “Graffiti-Kuenstler legen “Homeland” rein” (DE)
Egypt Independent “’Homeland is racist’: Artists hide subversive graffiti in hit TV show” (EG)
Egypt Streets, Ester Meerman “‘Homeland is Racist’: Graffiti Artists ‘Bomb’ Award-Winning TV Show” (EG)
http://www.dotmsr.com/ (EG)
The Guardian, Claire Phipps “‘Homeland is racist’: artists sneak subversive graffiti on to TV show” (UK)
BBC “Artists write ‘Homeland is racist’ graffiti on set” (UK)
Independent, Rose Troup Buchanan “‘Homeland is racist’: Artists ‘hack’ latest episode with Arabic Slogans” (UK)
The National, Rob Long “How Homeland fell into the graffiti trap” (UAE)
Repubblica, Francesca Caferri “Quei nostril graffiti che hanno hackerato la serie tv Homeland” (IT)
Internazionale “La serie tv Homeland trasmette per sbaglio graffiti che la accusano di razzismo” (IT)
France 24, Marc Daou “’Homeland est raciste’: des artistes piegent la production de la serie americaine” (FR)
El Mundo, Fatima Elidrissi “Grafiteros arabes sabotean la serie ‘Homeland’” (ES)
La Vanguardi “Homeland es racista” (ES)
El Diario, Leila Nachawati “Homeland, hackeada: “Hicimos grafitis en el set de rodaje criticando el racism de la serie” (ES)
Aftonbladet “Kuppade in kritik mot “Homeland” – i serien” (SWE)
Svenska Dagbladet ““Homeland” utsatt foer graffitikupp” (SWE)
Berlingske, Anders Holmgaard “Skriften på væggen virkede”(DK)
Heba Amin interview with Ekaterina Petrova (BG)
Middle East Eye “How ‘Homeland is racist’ graffiti appeared on the set of Homeland” (UK)
Politika.rs “Grafiti umetnici kritikovali seriju “Domovina” subverzivnim porukama” (RS)
http://plusinfo.mk/vest/43777/avtorite-na-serijata-ne-gi-proverile-natpisite-na-arapski-koga-sfatile-shto-pishuvalo (MK)
wyborcza.pl “’Homeland jst rasistowski; – napisy na murach na planie hitowego serial” (PL)
T24 “Homeland’e sanatçı protestosu” (TU)
nrc.nl, Gert van Langendonck “Waarom graffitispuiters wraak namen op Homeland” (NL)
Joop “Graffitikunstenaars zetten Homeland voor schut in het Arabisch” (NL)
http://m.lifo.gr/articles/tv_articles/78166 (GR)
http://assafir.com/article/450604 (LB)
BBC: http://www.bbc.com/persian/arts/2015/10/151015_l41_tv_graffitti_homeland (IS)
E-International Relations, Robert A. Saunders “Homeland’s Popular Geopolitics Gets Punked” (US)
Der Tagesspiegel, Mohamed Amjahid “”Boom”, sagt der Dschihadist” (DE)
statement in French: “Le Street Art Arabe Bombe (en aerosol) la serie TV US Homeland”
Milk, Chris Thomas “Breaking Down the Criticism against ‘Homeland’: is it Islamophobic?” (US)
The Huffington Post, Cynthia P. Schneider “Islamophobia, ISIS, and Authentic Muslim Narratives: Television’s Potential Role” (US)
The Nomos of Images, Toni Pape “Anonymity/Stealth” (DE)


The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: “’Homeland’ Suffered A Major Intelligence Failure” (US)

The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon (US)
Sky News: “Graffiti Branding Hit TV Show As ‘Racist’ Gets Past Producers” (UK)
RBB: Homeland und die arabischen Graffiti (DE)
CNN: “’Homeland is racist’: Artists hide subversive graffiti in hit TV show” (US)
CNN: “Hidden graffiti messages accuse Homeland of racism” (US)
The Verge: “Homeland is racist” graffiti airs on show (US)
AJ+: “‘Homeland Is Racist’ Graffiti Artists Sneak Messages on The Show” (QA)
Future TV: “Bala Toul Sire” with Zaven (LB)


uprisingradio.org: “Anti-Arab Racism and Orientalism in Homeland and Quantico”
Yo, Is This Racist?: 719 Reverse Racism Is Not A Thing (w/ Christina Lee) (US)
KCRW: “American Graffiti- Martini Shot” (US)
Porkins Policy Review “Episode 39 Homeland Season 5 ep. 3” (US)
Porkins Policy Review “Episode 40 Homeland Season 5 ep. 5” (US)
Porkings Policy Review “Episode 42: The Homeland Hackers” (US)
CBC: “’Homeland is racist:’ Graffiti artists dupe show producers with Arabic tags (CA)
BBC: “Street artists explain ‘homeland is Racist’ graffiti” (UK)
Radio Columbia: “Heba Amin, la grafitera que se coló en Homeland” (CO)

“Arabian Street Artists” Bomb Homeland: Why We Hacked an Award-Winning Series

Category : Other, projects October 14, 2015

Homeland is NOT a series

What’s wrong with Homeland’s political message? The very first season of “Homeland” explained to the American public that Al Qaida is actually an Iranian venture. According to the storyline, they are not only closely tied to Hezbollah, but Al Qaida even sought revenge against the US on behalf of Iran. This dangerous phantasm has become mainstream ‘knowledge’ in the US and has been repeated as fact by many mass media outlets. Five seasons later, the plot has come a long way, but the thinly veiled propaganda is no less blatant. Now the target is freedom of information and privacy neatly packaged as the threat posed by Whistleblowers, the Islamic State and the rest of Shia Islam.

In the summer of 2015, the American television serial “Homeland” was shot in Berlin. June and July saw parts of the city dedicated to capturing the doings of former CIA Agent Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) in her new role as security advisor to a German humanitarian oligarch, Otto Düring (Sebastian Koch). Amidst hints of a hacker conspiracy and secret agreements between the US and Germany, the show attempts to mirror real-life events with an Edward Snowden-style leak revealing a joint project by the CIA and the BND (German Federal Intelligence Service) illegally spying on German citizens. But unlike real life, this leak forced Germany to release all arrested ISIS terrorists.

The series has garnered the reputation of being the most bigoted show on television for its inaccurate, undifferentiated and highly biased depiction of Arabs, Pakistanis, and Afghans, as well as its gross misrepresentations of the cities of Beirut, Islamabad- and the so-called Muslim world in general. For four seasons, and entering its fifth, “Homeland” has maintained the dichotomy of the photogenic, mainly white, mostly American protector versus the evil and backwards Muslim threat. The Washington Post reacts to the racist horror of their season four promotional poster by describing it as “white Red Riding Hood lost in a forest of faceless Muslim wolves”. In this forest, Red Riding Hood is permitted to display many shades of grey – bribery, drone strikes, torture, and covert assassination- to achieve her targets. She points her weapon of choice at the monochrome bad guys, who do all the things that the good guys do, but with nefarious intent.

It cannot be disputed that the show looks good and is well acted and produced, as its many awards prove. But you would think that a series dealing so intensively with contemporary topics including the war on terrorism, ISIS, and ideological clashes between the US and the Middle East would not, for example, name a key terrorist character after the former real-life Pakistani ambassador to the United States. Granted, the show gets high praise from the American audience for its criticism of American government ethics, but not without dangerously feeding into the racism of the hysterical moment we find ourselves in today. Joseph Massad, Associate Professor of Modern Arab Politics and Intellectual History at Columbia University, addresses this deep-seeded racism of American media towards the Middle East: “‘Homeland’ hardly deviates from this formula [of racist programming], except to add that Arabs are so dangerous that even all-American White men can be corrupted by them and become equally dangerous to America”.

At the beginning of June 2015, we received a phone call from a friend who has been active in the Graffiti and Street art scene in Germany for the past 30 years and has researched graffiti in the Middle East extensively. He had been contacted by “Homeland’s” set production company who were looking for “Arabian street artists” to lend graffiti authenticity to a film set of a Syrian refugee camp on the Lebanese/Syrian border for their new season. Given the series’ reputation we were not easily convinced, until we considered what a moment of intervention could relay about our own and many others’ political discontent with the series. It was our moment to make our point by subverting the message using the show itself.

ArabianStreetArtists1 ArabianStreetArtists2
Left: Homeland is NOT a series (al watan mesh mosalsal)
Right: Top: we didn’t resist, so he conquered us riding on a donkey; bottom: The situation is not to be trusted; left: This show does not represent the views of the artists (photos courtesy of the artists)

ArabianStreetArtists3 ArabianStreetArtists4
Left: Freedom (horeya)..now in 3-D!
Right: Homeland is watermelon (al watan bateekh) (watermelon is a word often used to indicate that something is a sham or not to be taken seriously) (photos courtesy of the artists)

ArabianStreetArtists5 ArabianStreetArtists6
Left: There is no Homeland (mafeesh Homeland)
Right: #blacklivesmatter (photos courtesy of the artists)

ArabianStreetArtists7 ArabianStreetArtists8
Left: Falafel and Alcohol: from the hands of Faiza
The falafel stand belongs to an elderly lady named Faiza, a Syrian Christian who has seen a lot of life, and lived in a multicultural society for much of it. She has understood that good food and an occasional drop of Arak solve many problems, and although she sells only falafel and hummus, she added alcohol as a visual reminder of the better times, an act of resistance to her current circumstances and a premonition of a return to the life she once knew and enjoyed, even through hardships. She is well-liked in the neighbourhood, and although her sign does mention Alcohol, it also brings smiles to the residents of the camp.

Right: right: against the red, blue and purple devil (A Muslim Brotherhood reference made by an Egyptian general on Television in 2013)
left: Homeland is a joke, and it didn’t make us laugh
(photos courtesy of the artists)

Homeland is racist
#gasewsew (a reference to the Egyptian Abla Fahita puppet on spying) (photos courtesy of the artists)

In our initial meeting, we were given a set of images of pro-Assad graffiti- apparently natural in a Syrian refugee camp. Our instructions were: (1) the graffiti has to be apolitical (2) you cannot copy the images because of copyright infringement (3) writing “Mohamed is the greatest, is okay of course”. We would arm ourselves with slogans, with proverbs allowing for critical interpretation, and, if the chance presented itself, blatant criticism directed at the show. And so, it came to be.

The set decoration had to be completed in two days, for filming on the third. Set designers were too frantic to pay any attention to us; they were busy constructing a hyper-realistic set that addressed everything from the plastic laundry pins to the frayed edges of outdoor plastic curtains. It looked very Middle Eastern and the summer sun and heat helped heighten that illusion. The content of what was written on the walls, however, was of no concern. In their eyes, Arabic script is merely a supplementary visual that completes the horror-fantasy of the Middle East, a poster image dehumanizing an entire region to human-less figures in black burkas and moreover, this season, to refugees. The show has thus created a chain of causality with Arabs at its beginning and as its outcome- their own victims and executioners at the same time. As was briefly written on the walls of a make-believe Syrian refugee camp in a former Futterphosphatfabrik (animal feed plant) in the outskirts of Berlin, the situation is not to be trusted- الموضوع فيه أن.

The Arabian Street Artists //
Heba Amin @hebamin
Caram Kapp @dot_seekay
Don Karl a.k.a Stone @Donrok

* Our intervention was broadcast on October 11, 2015, “Homeland” Season 5, Episode 2.

1001 calamities (Alf nila w’ nila)

Repetition teaches Bashar (A play on Repetition teaches the Donkey, homar, which rhymes with Bashar)

Ready to die (nemoot)

Homeland is racist

Homeland is racist (photo courtesy of Showtime)

Default15: Extreme Lands

Category : workshops October 2, 2015

Investigation on the Extreme Land, a project promoted by Ramdom, is now at his second edition. After 2014 residencies, performances and exhibitions, the 2015 edition has launched starting with the call for Default 2015, an intensive workshop that will take place in July (13th-19th) 2015, in Gagliano del Capo (LE). An extensive program of collateral events will take place alongside Default15 and Carlos Casas’ residency.

With the support of other experts, the project will focus on the life, culture and social relations of extreme lands, where geographic dislocation also functions as a socio-anthropological characteristic of the people who live there. The notion of “extreme” as a point of departure confronts challenges to survival as addressed by many scholars and artists particularly relating to climate and environmental conditions. Situated at the tip of southeast Italy on the Mediterranean, Gagliano del Capo poses as an ideal geographic location to explore diverse interpretations on human and natural landscapes in the context of the “extreme”.

Curators: Heba Y. Amin (EG), Francesca Girelli (IT)
Workshop Artist: Carlos Casas (SP)
Participants: Mariagrazia Costantino (IT), Andrew Friend (UK), Giorgio Garippa & Oliver Palmer (UK/IT), Brett Swenson (USA), Matthew C. Wilson (USA)
Ramdom Directors: Paolo Mele (IT), Luca Coclite (IT)

Default15 is an international artistic project hosted in the heel of Italy’s Apulia region (Gagliano del Capo, LE), in the centre of the Mediterranean. The project offers the opportunity for selected artists and researchers to be a part of and contribute to an investigation of the “extreme land”. Currently in its third edition, Default presents a new topic and format, which offers a context to discuss, imagine and put forward sustainable ideas and artistic production related to the “extreme lands” (as part of an investigative process launched by Ramdom in 2014 in the frame of the GAP project).


Walking the line – Art of border zones in times of crisis

Category : workshops September 30, 2015

The summer school will engage with the production, circulation and the disruption of art and visual practices as they navigate the (thin) line between creative and destructive impulses in times when wars, struggles for national independence and conflicting ideologies result in border contestations and territorial partitions. These crises produce both immediate and enduring physical, economic and political consequences for persons living within affected regions, including flight from one’s homeland, traumatic histories left unprocessed between generations, and the elaboration of repressive political systems and surveillance. Art might be used as a propaganda weapon that affirms and enforces demarcations or it could be a creative path to transgress contested borders, a space to envision alternatives. The notion of the border will be explored both as a divisive force and as a zone of crossing by discussing larger questions about the complex and often seemingly contradictory relation between trauma and visual/aesthetic practices on the one hand, and complex issues of space and politics that (in-) form these practices on the other.

Participants: Sian Aggett, Julie Alary Lavallee, Heba Y. Amin, Nurul Azlan, Marie Back, Dilpreet Bhullar, Bui Kim Dinh, Danijel Benjamni Cubelic, Caitlin Dalton, Martijn de Rooij, Natalie Diffloth, Saima Haq, Chiara Iorino, Elene V. Kiznik, Anna Messner, Oh Jooyoung, Ninette Rothmueller, Christina Sanchez-Kozyreva, Eve Schiefer, Barbara Seyerl, Pathmini Ukwattage, Katharina Upmeyer, Yang Jing.

Heidelberg University, Germany July 2015


“Getting Lost” workshop with Julie Mehretu

Category : workshops July 5, 2015

Botin Foundation, Santander, Spain

This workshop uses the current global crisis, the fragmentation of the world around us, to probe questions of responsibility, intuition and making. It prioritises the importance of the artist as engaged global citizen with rigorous political attentiveness, and asks how do intuition and rational conceptual practices inform one another in studio practice and thinking, to offer alternative and imaginative proposals in our particular moment of time?



Archiving the Egyptian Revolution? Interview with InCirculation Journal

Category : interviews/press December 13, 2014

Here is an extensive interview I did for the new issue of “In Circulation” Journal about Project Speak2Tweet launched with the exhibition “CONTINGENT: ONLY IF PARTICIPATION OCCURS” curated by Erandy Vergara and Mark Clintberg (in collaboration with Studio XX and Medi@ McGill). Be sure to scroll down halfway into the article to the audio link and listen to the whole interview.


Les Rencontres Internationales de la Photo de Fès:
The Invisible Cities

Category : exhibitions December 1, 2014

Time: November 22nd to December 15th, 2014

FesExhibition2 (photo courtesy of Arthub Asia)

“In the context of an international Photo festival, the theme of the city emerges as a pivotal point within the mechanism of cultural mobility widely promoted–maybe now more than ever before–by contemporary art. While the concepts linked to national identity tend to remain rarefied, the dynamics behind the portraiture of a city allow the access to a wide spectrum of possibilities, which trigger a sharing of visions directly concerned with our daily lives in urban environments.

Residencies, fellowships, Biennales, are all opportunities that allow artists and curators to approach foreign realities, with the predetermined aim of merging them in their own artistic practice. The outcomes are windows of acknowledgement overlooking the cross-cultural encounter. Swaying in the territories between the golden age syndrome nostalgia, and the technology-led race towards an already perceivable future, the exhibition unfolds views of the ruling powers incarnated by top-down urban policies, on utopian multifaceted imaginary places, on the rhetorical disquisitions on our human nature, fueled by mixed feelings towards our digital lives. The City becomes a common denominator, where we can share struggles, fears and lyrics of the present time.

Our exhibition pays homage to Italo Calvino’s book published in 1972, still the richest reference on urban culture and its multiple meanings. The works on show stand near each other without linearity or hierarchy; they coexist in a common frame where multiple paths and plural interpretations can be traced. The exhibition evokes the universal entity that is today The City: a crossroad of lives and destinies, personal and collective dimensions, historical and visual stratifications. The filter of disappearance–the idea that observing, becoming familiar with a place, coincides with the very same space’s invisibility–is a feature that the experience of space shares with photography.

Organized in different venues around town, the exhibition’s photographs, projections and video-installations give photography new connotations without diluting its potential. In André Princìpe’s work, photography brings back to life the ghosts of past people and memories. It gravitates towards individual memories in Li Mu’s images and Thomas Sauvin’s display of archives. It is strengthened by the power of collective memory in the work of Heba Amin and Raed Yassin. Photography acts as a theatre, raising its curtain on Peter Steinhauer, Felicity Hammond, Anthony and Phillip Reed’s lyrical scenarios, that give new values to the basic elements that build a city. In Vincenzo Castella and Alessia Cargnelli’s investigations, the force of images pulls together what reality separates, as do the perspectives in the subjective documentaries of Liz Hingley, Céline Villegas and André Merian. Regula Bochsler’s city portraits are no less than apocalyptic. Representation is thinned down to its purely virtual dimension. With the passing of time, the technologies used to produce numerical images are more and more refined, offering ideally perfect depictions as a result: memories of a future past.”

Curated by Francesca Girelli, Arthub Asia in collaboration with Fantom Editions and the French Institute of Fès.

Project Speak2Tweet: case study #1
3-Channel Video and sound installation

FesExhibition (photo courtesy of Arthub Asia)


Arthub Asia, arthubasia.org
Fantom Editions, www.fantomeditions.com
French Institute of Fès, www.if-maroc.org/fes