Body as Site: Politics and Art With Sama Alshaibi on Tonight

Artist and professor Sama Alshaibi examines the mechanisms of displacement and fragmentation in the aftermath of war and exile through her art.
Neil Chowdhury

Artist and professor Sama Alshaibi examines the mechanisms of displacement and fragmentation in the aftermath of war and exile through her art.

Artist and art professor Sama Alshaibi will discuss her art practice, which includes projects in photography, video, installation and photographic/video archives, in her public lecture "Sama Alshaibi: Body as Site."

The lecture will take place at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 24 in Gearhart Hall (GEAR) Room 26 on the University of Arkansas Fayetteville Campus, and is free and open to the public.

Alshaibi's practice examines the mechanisms of displacement and fragmentation in the aftermath of war and exile. Her photographs, videos and immersive installations feature the body, often her own, as either a gendered site or a geographic device, and whose purpose is to resist oppressive political and social conditions. Alshaibi's monograph, Sama Alshaibi: Sand Rushes In (New York: Aperture, 2015) presents her Silsila series, which probes the human dimensions of migration, borders, and environmental demise.

Alshaibi will highlight her 2018-2020 projects, which include "The Cessation," on view in the exhibition State of the Art 2020 at The Momentary in Bentonville, Feb. 22 through May 24.

Born in Basra to an Iraqi father and Palestinian mother, Alshaibi is professor of photography, video and imaging at the University of Arizona, Tucson. She holds a B.A. in photography from Columbia College and an M.F.A. in photography, video, and media arts from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Alshaibi is the recipient of the 2019 Project Development Award from the Center (Santa Fe), the 2018 Artist Grant from the Arizona Commission on The Arts, and the 2017 Visual Arts Grant from the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (Beirut). Alshaibi was awarded a Fulbright Scholar Fellowship in 2014-15 as part of her yearlong residency at the Palestine Museum in Ramallah, where she developed an education program while conducting independent research.

Her artwork has been featured in several prominent biennials, exhibited in over twenty national and international solo exhibitions, and collected by public institutions in the US and abroad. She has been featured in Photo District News, L'Oeil de la Photographie, The Washington Post, Lensculture, The New York Times, Ibraaz, Bluin Artinfo, Contact Sheet, Contemporary Practices, Harper's Bazaar, The Guardian, CNN, Huffington Post and Hysteria.

This lecture is presented by the King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies, the School of Art, and the Gender Studies Program at the University of Arkansas.

Learn more about the event on its Facebook page.


Nani Verzon, project/program specialist
Middle East Studies Program


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