Yet Again Lies and Eraser of History. Conceding ‘identity politics’ into the identity politics of white supremacist privilege “Sensationalists: The Bad Girls and Boys of British Art”

In autumn September/ October 1997, my friend recommended that I check out the Sensations exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts. I was 17 years old, doing the final year of my A Levels and also in the process of starting to apply to go to art school. I had no idea what I was going to see at Sensations, my friend who was a year older than me and she was doing her Foundation course at Central St Martins, she invited me and spoke highly about this exhibition. So, I got on the tube with my friends and joined the long queue at the Royal Academy of Arts to see Sensations. 

Keep in mind that my experience before I saw sensations was limited to GCSE and A Level Art at the Green School of Girls in Isleworth, in a corner of west London. My GCSE and A Level Art teacher Ms Stephens, Ms Nichols and Ms Douglas who I cannot ever credit enough and have immense gratitude for teaching me and helping me reach my goals at a young age. My educational experience at GCSE and A Level Art was traditional and to some degree conservative, I learnt a lot about drawing, painting and sculptors: Van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso, Cezzane, Joseph Beuys, many other white male artists who were made and kept visible in UK art education. Within this educational experience Frida Khalo, Georgia O’Keeffe were mainly the only female artists I was taught about and alongside a short glance of exposure to Cindy Sherman at the Tate. Sensations was the first time I saw ‘conceptual contemporary art’ – I was mind blown, without any exaggerations it felt like discovering a brand new planet. At the time, I did not know any of the artists whose work I saw at Sensations. I thought I had found something groundbreaking. The artwork I remember making a note of was Marc Quinn’s sculpture head full of blood titled ‘Self 1991’ and Tracy Emin’s Tent was of interest. 

In the years between 1999-2002, during my BA Fashion degree years I became more familiar with Tracy Emin and often referenced her work in my degree course work. Emin was essentially one of the only female artists that seemed to be well documented and there was accessible material about her such as newspaper and magazine articles. Particularly as a fashion student; I had not signed up on a degree course that was going to broaden my female artist references and my continued interest in fine art was generally self initiated. 

The raw, uneasy and uncomfortableness of Emin’s work grew on me; mainly due to the sheer accessibility to another female artist. Was I a real fan of Emin’s work I still am not sure, firstly because she has white washed herself, therefore it is apparent her narrative is not entirely authentic and honest. If I had accessibility to a wider range of female artists; would I have had any interest in Emin is something I question despite of holding an empathy, support towards her tenacity and position because I also do consider, if Emin claimed her identity as a mixed race person that makes her a women of colour, would she have survived, made it amongst the brutally racist YBAs (Young British Artists) and would she have been fated the same as the rest of YBAs (Young Black Artists) to be erased, censored and without no financial business. It would be interesting to see Emin tell her full truth beyond the Munch and Egon Schiele’s. 

Identity politics is a dirty word for the YBAs (Young British Artists),  they are also indoctrinated and self declared ‘Thatcher’s children’. Thatcher who made anti-racism in education against the law.   

The definition of identity is how one places and recognises themselves. When a white male artist Micheal Landly makes an artwork titled ‘Breakdown’ (2001), this artwork was a reaction to consumerist society. In this artwork Landly destroyed all of his belongings to ‘smithereens’ as quoted by Landly. Breakdown artwork also includes an inventory; listing all the items that belong to Landly that he destroyed. If Landly was not a white male artist in London, would he have been able to contemplate such an idea, could he have afforded or had access to funding/ resources to produce, organise the machine that destroyed his items. If Landly was in Syria or Palestine he most probably would not own 5% of the items, let alone to have the choice and option to destroy items to turn into a public spectacle on Oxford Street in central London in the name of ‘art’. The artwork ‘Breakdown’ is a demonstration of the white male privileged identity. 

Damien Hirst proudly says ‘All My Ideas Are Stolen Anyway’ is the title of a Frieze article (2018) about Hirst. The article continues “The artist claims that he was taught ‘don’t borrow ideas, steal them’ by Michael Craig-Martin at Goldsmiths”. Michael Craig-Martin was the teacher of many of the YBAs (Young British Artists). The British Empire is built on stealing and killing; stealing is an inherent condition of white supremacy. White supremacy could not survive without stealing, stealing is the constitutive and innate bone structure of the white supremacist identity. Hirst built his art practice through his identity as a white supremacist; seizing and using white supremacist identification and fundamental white supremacist colonial conditions and routines of stealing in the practice of his art. Landly and Hirst’s artwork is centered and conceived through their privileged identities. Conceding ‘identity politics’ into the identity politics of white supremacist privilege. 

‘A look at the origins of the Young British Artists in the art schools of the mid-80s, a shocking and provocative movement which would culminate in the notorious 1997 exhibition Sensation.’ (Sensationalist, 2022). 

In January 2023, I watched ‘Sensationalists: The Bad Girls and Boys of British Art’ on BBC iplayer, 3 episode documentary, each episode is 1 hour long, released in time for the 25th anniversary of Charles Saatchi’s group exhibition ‘Sensation’ in 1997 at the Royal Academy of Arts. I’m 42 years old, writing a book about censorship and erasure of black and brown female artists in the UK. The only black spokesperson in this documentary is Goldie. Goldie is exceptional, he deserves all the merits and credits for contribution to UK’s creative culture as an artist and musician but of course he was not the only black artist in London during the 80’s and 90’s. The main message of this documentary is to celebrate and to look at 80’s and 90’s portraying the YBAs (Young British Artists) as the ‘pioneers’ of the conceptual contemporary art scene in the UK and at the time they were not aligned with the art establishment. But they were very much part of the same machine of the racist UK art establishment. Cork Street in Mayfair, London is known for art galleries, it was also mentioned in ‘Sensationalists’ as the only other art at the time. Cork Street’s historical commitment to the establishment is not a farce but it is untrue to say that Cork Street was the only art present besides the YBAs (Young British Artists).  

Steve who moved to Amsterdam and always shied away from the media shebang, became the second consecutive Black Turner Prize winner after Chris Offilli in a contemporary British art scene from which many people of ethnic heritage felt excluded. Apart from a few Black, Asian and minority ethnic artist like Anish Kapoor, Mona Hatoum, Isaac Julien, Yinka Shonibare and Chris Offili, the mainstream British art scene was heavily white dominated, as can be seen from the Turner Prize nominations during the 1990’s, Talented minority ethnic British artists such as Rasheed Araeen, Sonia Boyce, John Akonfrah, Lubaina Himid, Babara Walker, Ingrid Pollard, Claudette Johnson, Sokari Douglas Camp, Maud Sulter, Sutapa Biwas, Donald Rodney, Sunil Gupta, Hew Locke, Denzil Forrester and many more remained on the sidelines during this period, despite producing thought provoking and visually arresting work. 

Many of these artists had been part of a rich creative flourishing throughout the 1980s,” (Fullerton, 2021, p.137). 

A relatively successful artist such as Maud Sulter could pass away (as she did in 2008) with hardly anything in the way of acknowledgement and obituaries. And an artist such as Brenda Agard, relatively young though she was, could fall from view and pass into oblivion as if her stellar contributions were somehow insignificant and unimportant.” (Chambers, 2014, p.5).  

The two quotes above highlight the erasure of black and brown artists. ‘The Story of the Britain Revolution Art Rage’ Fullerton looks at the rise of the YBAs (Young British Artist) and ‘Black Artist in British Art A History Since the 1950s’ Chambers exposes the historical presence of black and brown artists in the UK. Both of these books and quotes alongside WOCI provide concrete evidence of the strong presence of black and brown artists in 80s and 90s and also at the same time the erasure of black and brown artists in the 80s and 90s – which has been repeated all over again by the BCC’s Sensationalists in 2022. Prompting the urgency once again to state the repetition of racist, violent and terrorist white supremacist history to uphold the falsification of white supremacist identity, culture and art.  

Samia Malik

Bibliography

Keith Allen. Min Clough. (2022). Sensationalist: The Bad Girls and Boys of British Art. BBC. iPlayer. 

Eddie Chambers. (2014). Black Artist in British Art A History Since the 1950s. I.B. Taurus. pp.5.

Elizabeth Fullerton. (2021). The Story of the Britain Revolution Art Rage. Thames & Hudson. pp.137.  

In News. (2018). All My Ideas Are Stolen Anyway. Frieze.

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Women of Colour Index (WOCI) Reading Group looking at artist Rhona Harriette with Make It In Brixton.

Join us for the Women of Colour Index Reading Group facilitated by Michelle Williams Gamaker and Samia Malik. 

Address: The Lounge, 58 Atlantic Rd, SW9 8PY

Date: Monday 14th November 2022

Time: 5.45pm-8.00pm

Workshop reading text: 

“The other two collective pieces were found towards the exhibition’s end, side by side, separate but complementary. The first, installed by Halina Zajac and Rhona Harriette in the passageway connecting the front and rear arches, felt anguished but strong, multi-layered yet clear and simple in the best sense. Black hands hang from chicken-wire wrists surrounded by dangling white ‘prison’ poles; sky blue, green grass and blood red were painted opposite colourful crayon drawings and photographs of dereliction and abandonment. To read the red text you had to walk from left to right, back and forth, uncomfortably reminiscent of prison guards pacing. The work used its rhythmic writing to effectively evoke a complex array of associations, while its colour and images worked symbolically to speak of child-like innocence, everyday life, persecution and social injustices”. Women in View Women’s Work VII Brixton Art Gallery, 16th July-8th Aug, Roxanne Permar, A chronicle of the group’s first two years. 

WOCI Reading Group

WOCI (Women of Colour Index) Reading Group is currently organised and facilitated by co-founder, director: Samia Malik and guest facilitators. WOCI is a collection of slides and papers collated by artist Rita Keegan Indexing Women of Colour artists during the 1980s and 1990s. Reading Group sessions aim to improve the visibility of women of colour artists whilst using material in the archive to generate discussions, thoughts around practices of: anti-racism, anti-colonisation and political justice. All people of all backgrounds, genders, sexualities, religions and race are welcome.

Michelle Williams Gamaker is an artist working in moving image. She interrogates cinematic artifice, deploying characters as fictional activists to critique the imperialist storytelling in 20th-century British/Hollywood studio films. Her work screened at BFI FLARE LGBTQ+ Film Festival (2017), BFI’s LFF Experimenta (2018, 2021) and is in the Arts Council Collection. She is joint-winner of Film London’s Jarman Award 2020, which toured to LUX Scotland, Nottingham Contemporary, g39, Spike Island, Towner Eastbourne, Whitechapel Gallery, The MAC and AEMI. Her Dissolution Film Trilogy was premiered at Gus Fisher Gallery, Auckland. She is recipient of the Stuart Croft Moving Image Award 2020 and a Decolonising the Archive Research Residency 2021 (UAL Decolonising Arts Institute). Her latest film The Bang Straws (2021) premiered at BFI LFF Experimenta, with a special jury commendation for the Short Film Award, and also featured at Aesthetica Short Film Festival, where it won Best Experimental Film. The film recently showed at the Whitechapel’s The London Open. Between 2016-19, she co-facilitated WOCI Reading Group together with Samia Malik and Rehana Zaman and is currently facilitator of the Jean Fisher Archive Reading Group at Matt’s Gallery.

Samia Malik is an artist and designer. In 2002, she launched her clothing label Samia Malik ihtgw, independently sold worldwide. In 2004, she studied MA Womenswear at Central Saint Martins, London. In 2007, she designed for musician M.I.A. From 2012–2014, she studied MFA Fine Art at Goldsmiths, University of London. The central focus of Samia’s art practice has been on issues of: racism, sexism, Islamophobia and social injustice. She is the director and co-founder of WOCI (Women of Colour Index) Reading Group. She currently works for Shades of Noir at University of Arts, London as an Academic Support Lecturer and is writing a book about WOCI Reading Group contracted by publishers Book Works. 

W: https://wocireadinggroup.wordpress.com

FB: WOCI Reading group

Twitter: @WOCIReading

Instagram: @wocireadinggroup

Women of Colour Index (WOCI) Reading Group looking at artist Symrath Patti with Make It In Brixton.

Join us for the Women of Colour Index Reading Group facilitated by Symrath Patti and Samia Malik. 

Address: The Lounge, 58 Atlantic Rd, SW9 8PY

Date: Monday 24th October 2022

Time: 5.45pm-8.00pm

Workshop reading text: 

“My work is about Indian female sexuality in the context of Indian traditions, rituals, caste, class and religion itself and the influences of a European setting. 

The Indian female symbol of ‘Motherhood’ is placed in confrontation with itself. I make use of other symbols: skin whitening creams, jewelry, mannequins etc., in order to bring to the surface the juxtapositions of European and Asian female symbolism which confront each other and create conflicts between generations in a modern contemporary setting. 

The relationship between the images and symbols is as complex as the relationship between Europe and India”. ‘The Complete Promise’ an exhibition by Symrath Patti, CentreSpace, 1991, Hounslow, Leisure Services.  

WOCI Reading Group

WOCI (Women of Colour Index) Reading Group is currently organised and facilitated by co-founder, director: Samia Malik and guest facilitators. WOCI is a collection of slides and papers collated by artist Rita Keegan Indexing Women of Colour artists during the 1980s and 1990s. Reading Group sessions aim to improve the visibility of women of colour artists whilst using material in the archive to generate discussions, thoughts around practices of: anti-racism, anti-colonisation and political justice. All people of all backgrounds, genders, sexualities, religions and race are welcome.

Symrath Patti is an artist based in London and also one of the founders of Panchayat Archive. She is currently studying at Dartington Arts Trust. Her work is mixed media based, exploring the periphery and the intersectional of being in Black/ Asian in British culture; dealing with race, class, gender, culture and geography.

The early exhibitions and curating included: ‘Creation for Liberation’ 1985, ‘Artists Against Racism’ 1989, ‘Panchayat’ 1988 at Soho Poly Theatre, ‘Jagrati’ 1986, ‘The Complete Promise’ 1990, ‘Cuban Biennale’ 1991, ‘Cher Cher La Femme’ 1996. Throughout the 80’s and 90’s Symrath worked in arts development and education creating a space for dialogues, this included the Dominion Center in Southall, Asian womens arts group in Woolwich, here she was involved in developing policy from grassroots; to bring about change and representation into institutions.

She has been an advisor and worked for many different organisations, a few of them were Greater London Arts board and Campaign Organisations such as Southall Monitoring Group – networking and creating support also this included Watermans Art Center; setting up an Asian advisory group and she was the first Black/Asian member of the board. 

In 2018, she exhibited at Kingsway Corridor at Goldsmiths University, showing work that explores Asian patriarchy in culture. Next year, she will be doing a solo exhibition at the muse gallery in west London. 

Samia Malik is an artist and designer. In 2002, she launched her clothing label Samia Malik ihtgw, independently sold worldwide. In 2004, she studied MA Womenswear at Central Saint Martins, London. In 2007, she designed for musician M.I.A. From 2012–2014, she studied MFA Fine Art at Goldsmiths, University of London. The central focus of Samia’s art practice has been on issues of: racism, sexism, Islamophobia and social injustice. She is the director and co-founder of WOCI (Women of Colour Index) Reading Group. She currently works for Shades of Noir at University of Arts, London as an Academic Support Lecturer and is writing a book about WOCI Reading Group contracted by publishers Book Works. 

W: https://wocireadinggroup.wordpress.com

FB: WOCI Reading group

Twitter: @WOCIReading

Instagram: @wocireadinggroup

Women of Colour Index (WOCI) Reading Group looking at artist Medina Hammad with Make It in Brixton.

Join us for the Women of Colour Index Reading Group facilitated by Alina Khakoo and Samia Malik. 

Address: The Lounge, 58 Atlantic Rd, SW9 8PY

Date: Monday 3rd October 2022

Time: 5.45pm-8.30pm

Workshop reading text: 

“Security was a major issue for these groups. White beefy men in chunkier suits would be posted advantageously in the hotel corridors. They would squeeze their large muscular forms into reproduction antique chairs with arm rests and wait patiently. The exchanges between these men and the Gulf Arab women made a very distinct impression – miles apart culturally, linguistically, socially and financially, they nevertheless communicated well and shared humour.” Medina Hammad: New Works, 13 February – 13 March 1993, Angel Row Gallery, Medina Hammad, December 1992. 

Medina Hammad is a painter and teacher, born in Middlesex. She studied at Chelsea School of Art, 1981–2, and Newport College of Art, Gwent, 1982–5. She went on to teach at Lincolnshire College of Art and Design. Much of Hammad’s work explored her Sudanese/English background with freshness, vitality and a bold use of colour. She exhibited at Usher Gallery, Lincoln, in 1988, and was included in the Norwich Gallery traveling show History and Identity, 1991–2. Hammad had a solo exhibition in 2002 at 4 Victoria Street, Bristol, curated by Eddie Chambers, another at the University of Leeds in 2004. Lived in Lincoln.

WOCI Reading Group

WOCI (Women of Colour Index) Reading Group is currently organised and facilitated by co-founder, director: Samia Malik and guest facilitators. WOCI is a collection of slides and papers collated by artist Rita Keegan Indexing Women of Colour artists during the 1980s and 1990s. Reading Group sessions aim to improve the visibility of women of colour artists whilst using material in the archive to generate discussions, thoughts around practices of: anti-racism, anti-colonisation and political justice. All people of all backgrounds, genders, sexualities, religions and race are welcome.

Alina Khakoo is a PhD researcher at the University of Cambridge, where she also teaches. Her thesis looks at South Asian diasporic artmaking in 1980s Britain, across the contexts of art education, art publishing, archives, and the display of art, thinking through concepts of groupwork, DIY artmaking, and the relations between aesthetics and politics. Her published work includes a chapter on Sutapa Biswas’ polemical video artwork Kali (1984) in Lumen: Sutapa Biswas (2021, Kettle’s Yard, BALTIC and Ridinghouse). She has also programmed a range of events on postcolonial and community aesthetics in Britain, including at Tate, Kettle’s Yard and Cambridge Central Library.

Samia Malik is an artist and designer. In 2002, she launched her clothing label Samia Malik ihtgw, independently sold worldwide. In 2004, she studied MA Womenswear at Central Saint Martins, London. In 2007, she designed for musician M.I.A. From 2012–2014, she studied MFA Fine Art at Goldsmiths, University of London. The central focus of Samia’s art practice has been on issues of: racism, sexism, Islamophobia and social injustice. She is the director and co-founder of WOCI (Women of Colour Index) Reading Group. She currently works for Shades of Noir at University of Arts, London as an Academic Support Lecturer and is writing a book about WOCI Reading Group contracted by publishers Book Works. 

Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/wcn-x-woci-with-alina-khakoo-tickets-416543752577

W: https://wocireadinggroup.wordpress.com

FB: WOCI Reading group

Twitter: @WOCIReading

Instagram: @wocireadinggroup

FREE PALESTINE – BOYCOTT ZABLUDOWICZ

In support, solidarity with Palestine; a response to non-stop Isaeli massacre and genocide of Palestinians. Israeli apartheid has been stealing the homes, land of Palestinians, murdering and imprisoning Palestinians since 1948. In May 2021, Israel launched attacks in Palestine targeting Shaikh Jerrah in East Jerusalem that has killed over two hundred Palestinians and injured over a thousand Palestinians. Israel has announced that they will continue their attacks in Palestine for as long they have to. 

WHY BOYCOTT ZABLUDOWICZ  

Zabludowicz Art Trust uses art and culture to artwash the Israeli state’s ongoing racism and violence against Palestinians. It is intimately connected to lobbying activities on behalf of the Israeli state, and to a company providing services to the Israeli Air Force. The Zabludowicz brand weaponizes culture to legitimate and reinforce the Israeli policy of apartheid. 

In a period when white supremacist racism in Israel has hardened from informal to official state policy, this is an exceptionally destructive use of cultural soft power. It out-strips even the worst corporate offenders globally for its role in an explicit and ongoing policy of racism and apartheid. 

Even in the increasingly privatised UK culture scene where funding is often derived from vastly exploitative and oppressive companies and private-public bodies, Zabludowicz Trust stands out because it directly serves a project of apartheid, here and now. Under Israel’s Basic Laws, “Israel is the historic homeland of the Jewish people and they have an exclusive right to national self-determination in it” [Our italics]. [https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/19/israel-adopts-controversial-jewish-nation-state-law ] 

Here racism isn’t incidental to the state’s policies, it’s pivotal. Zabludowicz Trust exists to naturalise and normalise programmatic apartheid: help us shatter the illusion that racism is ever acceptable – whether anti-Palestinian or anti-semitic!

To read more and sign the petitionhttps://boycottzabludowicz.wordpress.com

MEETING: The next Boycott Zabludowicz online open meeting is on Sunday 23rd of May at 7.30pm. Please join and get involved by emailing bdzgrp@riseup.net for a registration link.

What can you do as a worker or visitor at Tate – email the directors office, feel free to copy and paste the letter below or you can write your own letter:

Title: Remove Israeli apartheid arms and propaganda supplier Anita Zabludowicz as executive trustee

Hi Holly, 

I’m a visitor/ worker at the Tate.

Anita Zabludowicz is an executive trustee at Tate meaning she has a lot of power in decisions made at the Tate. Anita Zabludowicz with her husband Poju Zabludawicz are art collectors, an art collection that is built on Israeli arms supply funds – weapons that are used to murder Palestinians. Zabludawicz are also a major funder and a former founder of BICOM (British Israel communications research centre) – a propaganda machine.

I do not support the Israeli apartheid in Palestine and I do not support the massacre of Palestinians by Israel. Anita Zabludowicz is a supplier of propaganda and weapons to Israel that are killing Palestinians. I want Anita Zabludowicz to be removed as the executive trustee at the Tate. 

Boycott Zabludowicz:  https://boycottzabludowicz.wordpress.com

Thank you 

Name 

Women of Colour Index (WOCI) Reading Group looking at Vinodini Ebdon at Iniva, Stuart Hall Library

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Address: Iniva, Stuart Hall Library, 16 John Islip Street, London SW1P 4JU

Saturday 7thMarch, 1-3pm 

Get inspired for International Women’s Day by joining us for a Women of Colour Index (WOCI) Reading Group at the Stuart Hall Library, facilitated by Samia Malik and Alaa Kassim.

Ceramicist Vinodini Ebdon was born and raised in Delhi, India. She studied at the Delhi University and worked as a psychologist to the Officer Selection Board of the Indian Army. She took up pottery after attending classes at Bath Academy of Art and began making domestic ware using slip and graffito methods, initially inspired by natural forms. Later in her practice, she experimented with techniques, using modelling and tooling-applied clay to produce finer detail.

Workshop reading text:

“VINODINI EBDON: Pottery. Vinodini Ebdon was born and brought up in Delhi. Her formal education culminated in a degree from Delhi University, and after working in Hindhu and Muslim establishments she took a commission in the Indian Army, and was appointed psychologist to the Officer Selection Board. She married a British Officer colleague, and they and their three children came to live in England in 1953.” New Horizons Exhibition, Jan 1985.

WOCI Reading Group
WOCI (Women of Colour Index) Reading Group is currently organised and facilitated by co-founder, director: Samia Malik and co-assistant Alaa Kassim. WOCI is a collection of slides and papers collated by artist Rita Keegan Indexing Women of Colour artists during the 1980s and 1990s. Reading Group sessions aim to improve the visibility of women of colour artists whilst using material in the archive to generate discussions, thoughts around practices of: anti racism, anti colonisation and political justice. All people of all backgrounds, genders, sexualities, religions and race are welcome.

To book free online and link to Iniva press release: https://iniva.org/programme/events/women-of-colour-index-reading-group-vinodini-ebdon/

 

WOCI Reading Group at South London Gallery with artist Farah Soobhan

0-1WOCI Reading Group is reconvening at South London Gallery with artist Farah Soobhan
Join us for Women of Colour Index Reading Group with artist Farah Soobhan, facilitated by Samia Malik.

Full Address: South London Gallery, 65–67 Peckham Road, London SE5 8UH

Event Date: Wednesday 13th November 2019
Time: 7.00pm – 8.30pm

Workshop reading text:

“Activism – my art work is a major form of activism for me, it’s a visual representation of my fight against the stagnation of the Muslim arts scene, against misogyny in the Muslim community and in the mainstream as well as against the aversion of discussing ‘taboo’ topics in our very own homes.” Farah Soobhan, 2019.

* Photocopies of the extended version of this text will be available during the session.

Farah Soobhan – Biography 2019
Farah Soobhan, founder of Farah Visual Arts is a teacher, contemporary mixed- media artist and curator who uses the recognisable and versatile style of pop art to explore her own identity as a Muslim woman living in the West. Her work highlights deeper messages relating to political and humanitarian crisis taking place in the Middle East as well as globally.

The bright and bold aesthetics of her paintings juxtaposes the serious concepts she wants to relay to her audience. Farah uses her art to express her thoughts and feelings on so many causes ranging from religion, terrorism, police brutality and the refugee crisis to misogyny, Islamophobia and mental health.

She is on a personal journey to evolve as a creative by continuously developing her artistic style and application techniques further in order to always connect and engage fully through her works. She is always aiming to visually challenge the norms of traditional Islamic art as well as seeking new themes to explore such as her own British, Mauritian and South African heritage, culture and personal experiences.

Farah exhibited her very first pieces in 2011 and 2012 with Artistic Jihad art exhibitions and her work was featured on the Evening Standard and Al Jazeera news in 2015 for being the chosen artist to front an anti terrorism campaign.  She has also exhibited her work all over England including in MICA gallery in Knightsbridge, Moniker Art fair in the Old Truman Brewery, Queen of Hoxton in Shoreditch and The Crypt Gallery in Kings Cross. Farah’s painting was also projected onto the historic General Post Office building in Dublin, Ireland and at the Women of the World Festival in Chester. She also hosted workshops for The Anti Art Fair and many other professional associations.

She has also filmed interviews for Islam channel, British Muslim TV, Inspire FM and the BBC. Her work has also been published in newspapers and magazines in Mauritius as well as numerous online publications like Hayati and Galdemzine among others. Farah is continuously helping others in their creative journeys and also started art tutorials on YouTube to make painting accessible to those who are starting out. She also hosts Pop Art workshops regularly for homeschoolers, schools and galleries for children as well as adults.

Farah truly believes that creatives need to unite to help each other grow and develop so that they can stay inspired, motivated and supported.

She is now a Co founder of DOT; Developing Our Traditions, a platform aiming to provide a space for creatives to network, exhibit their art and hold workshops, which will benefit each other as well as the wider community.

Follow her creative journey on her website, Facebook, Instagram or YouTube channel
http://www.farahvisualarts.com
@farahvisualarts

WOCI Reading Group
WOCI (Women of Colour Index) Reading Group is currently organised and facilitated by co-founder, director: Samia Malik and co-assistant Alaa Kassim. WOCI is a collection of slides and papers collated by artist Rita Keegan Indexing Women of Colour artists during 1980’s and 1990’s. Reading Group sessions aim to improve the visibility of women of colour artists whilst using material in the archive to generate discussions, thoughts around practices of: anti racism, anti colonisation and political justice. All people of all backgrounds, genders, sexualities, religions and race are welcome.
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/426950007976926/

South London Gallery event link: https://www.southlondongallery.org/events/women-of-colour-index-reading-group-farah-soobhan/

 

WOCI Reading Group is reconvening at South London Gallery with artist Veena Stephenson

Kindis

Join us for Women of Colour Index Reading Group with artist Veena Stephenson, facilitated by Samia Malik.

Full Address: South London Gallery, 65–67 Peckham Road, London SE5 8UH

Event Date: Wednesday 23rd October 2019
Time: 7.00pm – 8.30pm

Workshop reading text:

“I left Africa when I was six. Leaving Africa and coming here was a traumatic experience – it took me probably the next twelve years to get over it. I’d moved to a totally different environment in a different country, from Nairobi which didn’t feel at all urban at the time, to Hackney in London.” Veena Stephenson interviewed by Rukhsana Mosam, Bazaar 10 (early 1990’s).

* Photocopies of the extended version of this text will be available during the session.

Veena Stephenson – Biography 2019
My heritage is South Asian, I was born in Kenya, and grew up in London from the age of six years. I am a professional artist, acupuncturist, writer and an activist.
During decades of practice, knowledge, experience and expertise my work has unfolded – to overlap, cross-over, correlate and weave in and out of these areas. As an artist I identify with postmodernism and its non-linear multiplicities, and with a critically deconstructive standpoint towards modernism’s linear, monolithic and hierarchical structures.

All my work unfolds with the holistic normality of the Eastern paradigms of India and China, which seamlessly connect the external physical, interpersonal, social, political, etc. environments with internal personal physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects held and processed within the body. These correlate with the Western bioscience paradigm which I research and refer to in my practice.

Selected materials as follows:
Artist – My work has been exhibited at Arnolfini in Bristol, Bluecoat Galleries in Liverpool, Cornerhouse in Manchester amongst others. Exhibitions included Trophies of Empire, Table for Four, Keeping it Together, Black People and the British Flag. Commissions include RSA award for Art in Architecture to produce “Tangled Roots” for Unity Housing Association: and “Ring A Ring A Roses, A Pocket Full of Posies, Atishoo! Atishoo…“ for Trophies of Empire.

Writer – My dissertation “Rubbing Culture’s Nose in the Mud of Politics” is published in “Passion: Discourses in Black Women’s Creativity”. My poetry, discussion and artwork is published in “Beyond Frontiers: Contemporary British Art by Artists of South Asian Descent, and elsewhere. I was guest editor for Feminist Arts News, in my capacity as coordinator of the Asian Women Writers’ Collective to combine publication of poetry and visual artwork.

Acupuncturist – I have been practicing professionally for 10 years with over 30 years of personal practice within the Taoist, Buddhist and Yogic paradigms. I treat conditions such as miscarriage, insomnia, anxiety/depression, pain, infertility etc. I have worked for 2 decades in therapeutic support for adult survivors and safe parents of children who have been sexually abused, as well as for Mind, the mental health organisation.
Activist – I was closely involved in successful, groundbreaking grassroots campaigns against miscarriages of justice/racism/domestic violence, with Hackney Community Defence Association, Newham Monitoring Project, Southall Black Sisters, Justice for Women, etc.

Website: https://www.veenacupuncture.com

WOCI Reading Group
WOCI (Women of Colour Index) Reading Group is currently organised and facilitated by co-founder, director: Samia Malik and co-assistant Alaa Kassim. WOCI is a collection of slides and papers collated by artist Rita Keegan Indexing Women of Colour artists during 1980’s and 1990’s. Reading Group sessions aim to improve the visibility of women of colour artists whilst using material in the archive to generate discussions, thoughts around practices of: anti racism, anti colonisation and political justice. All people of all backgrounds, genders, sexualities, religions and race are welcome.

South London Gallery event link: https://www.southlondongallery.org/events/women-of-colour-index-reading-group-veena-stephenson/

 

WOCI Reading Group is pleased to present ‘Bringing the Spice’ an event by WAH at Raven Row

We Are Here! Women Artists of Colour is a platform committed to raising the profile of this under- represented demographic. We want and need to be seen and heard. We aim to provide support through events, exhibitions and workshops to broaden research in this area and prevent erasure of this important work.

Bringing the Spice is a one-day event at Raven Row hosting exhibition of works responding to themes of Food, Memory and Identity. A collective reading and a food performance followed by a shared meal.

Event starts at 3pm

Exhibition and Introduction of the participating artists 3:00-4:30 pm
Collective Reading followed by discussion 4:30-6:00 pm
Cooking Performance followed by shared meal 6:00-8:00 pm
This event was made possible by the generous support of the UAL Post-Grad Community Project Fund.

**This event will be filmed. ***

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Eventbrite Link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/bringing-the-spice-tickets-64918317435?utm_source=eb_email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=new_event_email&utm_term=viewmyevent_button