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Zamin Project | Panel 1: SWANA in the BAY AREA: What is SWANA?

Zamin Project | Panel 1: SWANA in the BAY AREA: What is SWANA?

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Date(s) - 08/14/2021
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

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Aggregate Space Gallery


Aggregate Space Gallery (ASG) presents Zamin Project, a virtual multi-faceted art project aiming to create a space for dialogue and connection between SWANA (South West Asia and North African) artists, curators, and art educators in the Bay Area and beyond. This series is initiated by Iranian-American artist Shaghayegh Cyrous, aiming to focus on the question of How can we create our own resources? by gathering SWANA artists, educators, and art leaders to develop a solution for enriching the community in the Bay area and beyond.

This is an online only event.

Panel 1: SWANA in the BAY AREA: What is SWANA?

Saturday, August 14, 2021, 2:00PM

Moderator: Roula Seikaly

Panelists: Dena Al-Adeeb, Targol Mesbah, Naz Cuguoğl and L.E. Brown

Made possible by the California Arts Council.

Read about the Panelists:

Dena Al-Adeeb is a transdisciplinary artist, scholar, educator, and cultural worker. She is a Senior Fellow at the Käte Hamburger Centre for Apocalyptic and Post-Apocalyptic Studies at the University of Heidelberg and Visiting Scholar at the Department of American Studies at the University of California, Davis. Dena hosts Arab/SWANA Futurisms Salons bringing together voices, collectives, and movements of Arab/SWANA artists, scholars and other visionaries who reflect on our pasts to imagine expansive futures that are decolonial, anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist, feminist, and queer.

She has exhibited her work internationally at venues such as Mana Contemporary in New York, Museum of Tunisia and Galerie le Violon Bleu in Tunis, OFF Biennale Caira and her work appears in a diversity of publications including: Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics, We Are Iraqis: Aesthetics and Politics in a Time of War Anthology.

Targol Mesbah: I was born and raised in Tehran, Iran and immigrated to the United States with my family during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s. My research seeks to discern the social, psychic and material relations that shape the experience of wars, and how the aftermaths of wars shape the everyday possibilities of living, knowing, loving and dying. Michel Foucault’s writings on the analytics of power as capillary movement help me articulate the creative possibilities of power in resisting war-like relations of domination. The Zapatista movement’s political theory and practice of building autonomous communities, councils, and schools, to build a world in which many worlds fit orient my living, learning, and teaching in times of intensifying environmental destruction, political violence and displacement of human and nonhuman populations. I teach critical and postcolonial theory, film, and media studies, and experiment in creating non-coercive spaces of learning and translation in and outside the university.

L.E. Brown (she/her) is an independent art director, documenter, and researcher based between Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA and Abu Dhabi, UAE. Her current research project, CYBER SWANA, focuses on digital, conceptual, and multimedia art from Southwest Asia, North Africa, diaspora, and beyond, with an emphasis on women and queer artists. Her book by the same title will be released in 2022. Previously, L.E. was founder and director of East of West gallery in Santa Fe, which exhibited dozens of SWANA artists working across various mediums. L.E. completed her B.A. in the History of Art and Visual Culture at the University of California, Santa Cruz and Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, and is continuing her education towards a postgraduate degree at Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi.

Naz Cuguoğlu is a curator and art writer, based in San Francisco and Istanbul. She is the co-founder of “Collective Çukurcuma,” experimenting with collaborative thinking practices through its reading group meetings and international exhibitions. Currently, she works as the Communications and Media Editor at Blum & Poe. She held fellowship positions at the KADIST and the Wattis Institute; researcher positions at de Young Museum and SFMOMA Public Knowledge; and worked as a projects and exhibitions manager at Zilberman Gallery, Maumau Art Residency, and Mixer. Since 2017, she has been working as an artist advisor for Joan Mitchell Foundation, and she is one of the jurors for Sondheim Artscape Prize 2021. Her writings have been featured in SFMOMA Open Space, Art Asia Pacific, Hyperallergic, Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art, M-est.org, and elsewhere. She received her BA in Psychology and MA in Social Psychology from Koç University, and another MA from California College of the Arts’ Curatorial Practice program. She has curated exhibitions and programs internationally, at institutions such as Asian Art Museum (San Francisco), The Wattis Institute (San Francisco), 15th Istanbul Biennial Public Program.

Read About the Moderator:

Roula Seikaly is an independent curator and writer, and Senior Editor + Co-Curatorial Director at Humble Arts Foundation. Roula has curated exhibitions at SF Camerawork and SOMArts (San Francisco), Axis Gallery (Sacramento), Filter Photo Festival (Chicago), CPAC (Denver), Blue Sky Gallery (Portland), and the Utah Museum of Fine Arts. Her writing is published virtually and in print at Hyperallergic, Photograph, BOMB, Afterimage, Aperture, Strange Fire Collective, and KQED Arts. She is the co-recipient of the 2019 Blue Sky curatorial prize for the exhibition “An Inward Gaze.”


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