Q&A: Sama Raena Alshahaibi


By Hamidah Glasgow   |   October 26, 2016

Sama Alshaibi’s multimedia work explores spaces of conflict and the power struggles that arise in the aftermath of war and exile. The artist is particularly interested in how such clashes occur between citizens and the state, creating vexing crises that impact the physical and psychic realms of the individual as resources and land, mobility, political agency, and self-affirmation are compromised.

Silsila — Arabic for ‘chain’ or ‘link’— is a multi-media project depicting Alshaibi’s seven-year cyclic journey through the significant deserts and endangered water sources of the Middle East and North African region. By linking the performances in the deserts and waters of the historical Islamic world with the nomadic traditions of the region, and the travel journals of the great 14th century Eastern explorer, Ibn Battuta, Alshaibi seeks to unearth a story of continuity within the context of a threatened future. 2009-2016.

“I am re-tracing, through location, the mystical and historical importance of the deserts of the region, and the story of water in relationship to it, peoples linking their needs into a possible hope for survival. The project focuses on our geographic voice, our search for meaning and connection within our own consciousness and with each other as interdependent peoples and nations plagued by an unthinkable future.”

View Video Here https://vimeo.com/68114881


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All images © Sama Raena Alshahaibi