Amal workshops at Ort Gallery Birmingham
Ort Gallery Birmingham 30 November – 25 January 2020
Amal supported a series of public events to accompany award winning, Kuwaiti-born Palestinian, journalist Laura Boushnak’s photo exhibition I Read I Write. The exhibition featured images and audio of Gazan and Saudi women, exploring their relationship with literacy and education.
The events were designed to engage Birmingham’s diverse communities and encourage participation in the arts while similarly aiming to provide artistic activities for local women and encourage them to visit the exhibition at Ort Gallery located at the Mosley School of Arts. The project included a resource pack giving audiences written descriptions of the images and accompanying audio by the subjects of the images to give further context to the exhibition.
“I have always sought out a collaborative approach with the women I photographed. I wanted them to actively participate in the experience…” Laura Boushnak
Amal supported events
Adult Craft Workshop led by Salma Zulfiqar
Participants experimented with writing Arabic calligraphy as a way to access and understand Middle Eastern culture. Many of the participants came from Syria and had recently settled in Birmingham so the workshops enabled them to talk to others about their experiences of home. Participants created a final canvas of their portraits in profile using the calligraphy as part of the painting.
Family Craft Workshop led by Sam Krankpod
Led by Sam, a local Caribbean-British artist with expertise in ceramics, these workshops included decorating biscuits for the youngest children, decorating boxes and objects using 3D paint, and a joint activity with children and parents working together to paint one canvas.
Poetry Night in association with Writers Without Borders
Ahmed Magare, a Somali poet and artist, led the event on behalf of Writers without Borders in conjunction with Ort Gallery. The majority of the poets performing had come to the UK from Africa and the Middle East. Poems, read to audiences at the I Read I write exhibition, ranged on themes from belonging, to racial and faith based crime and violence, to family tensions and love. Audience members and poets were brought together for informal discussion after the event at the gallery.
“The stories were from different backgrounds, so it was a great opportunity for these diverse voices and rich experiences to come together. This was an interesting way to have an insight into the educational experiences of women in a different part of the world.” Sayyara Syed, poet performer
Artist talk: Laura Boushnak and Q&A discussion with the audience
Laura talked to audiences about her experiences as a war reporter and how her work mainly focuses on the Arab world, looking at issues that she finds stem from her own personal experience of gender, education, and aftermath of war.