Talk – Hudhud, with Enas Ismail, Nayla Tozin, Rana Kassem, Shaikha Al Salman and Bootleg Griot

Poster design by Nathaniel Enriquez, Assembly Alumnus 2022/23

Hudhud is a collective conversation that aims to unpack the adoption of artistic practices as a remedy for longing and a reaffirming process of knowing and belonging to a home. The conversation features Enas Ismail, Nayla Tozin, Rana Kassem and Shaikha Al Salman, moderated by Bootleg Griot. The panellists, comprising practising artists based in the UAE, bring perspectives on the connections people have in a home-away-from-home, delving into the similarities and differences between their artistic practices. The conversation reflects on the current global struggles and forced transformations, examining the capacity of utilising art as a tool for relating to and understanding one’s relationship with their homes; some in strife and grief and others in care and love.

This panel discussion is organised by the Assembly 2023-2024 member Redha Al Hammad as part of the 2024 Youth Takeover.

Bootleg Griot is a concept public library project founded by Osemudiamen Ekore and Fawaz Abdulazeez, dedicated to mitigating the accessibility of literature and other forms of print media in the community. With a carefully curated collection, the project operates as a series of pop-up installations that reimagine the format, function and dynamics of a modern public library. Each activation exists as a uniquely curated space and selection of works from the collection.

Enas Ismail is a Sudanese multidisciplinary artist, researcher and arts educator based between the UAE, Sudan and Kenya. Her work explores questions of identity, Nubian art and cultural heritage, communicating these ideas through various visual mediums, including pottery, paintings, performance, photography and street art. She aims to dismantle the barriers between formalities and absorb the concept of self-identity through her art and to initiate dialogue through her research. Enas’s work has been shown at the Sharjah Art Foundation (2016); Al-Junaid Cultural Center, Sudan (2017); Spanish Embassy in Sudan (2020); French Embassy in Sudan (2020); Heritage House, Khartoum, Sudan (2020). Her work has been featured in Sudan Retold, Andariya magazine, BBC and Al Jazeera.

Nayla Tozin is a writer born in the USA but raised in Dubai, UAE. Coming from a multicultural background of Zanzibari, Haitian, and Vietnamese heritage, her body of work navigates diasporic identity through themes of reconciliation, return, and memory by exploring generational experiences and bonds in her family. Nayla is interested in the practice of storytelling as a vehicle for preservation of culture, language, and tradition.

Rana Kassem, practising under the alias Rasamett, is an Egyptian artist based in the UAE. Her practise revolves around the ways of incorporating Arabic type into different media, taking into account popular cultural and common social experiences. Rana is interested in how the lettering and type of the word can either open up interpretation or specify it down and how translation and the ability to read in one language but pronounce in another, ultimately creates a perspective unique to the bilingual and their interpretation.

Shaikha Al Salman is a Bahraini visual artist. Receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Filmmaking, she works with video, performance, sound, and field recordings. Shaikha’s practice focuses on the duality of the female body and experience, utilising conversation, visual research and the environment she finds herself in to encapsulate the meaning behind her work. She is inspired by the mechanics of emotion, the dynamics of her surroundings and her varied upbringing living in multiple cities within the GCC region.



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