Art Initiative Explores The Imagined Space Where Islam Meets L.A.

Art as a means for encouraging understanding and contributing to conversation and dialogue:

“What I was interested in doing is deflecting this idea of a certain line of questioning or a certain representational show that is so often associated with a group show organized around identity matrixes,” Sahakian declared to HuffPost. “One thats organized over this overarching rubric of Islamic arts in terms of what people might expect artists to talk about. Instead of pretending there was any artwork that could answer these questions, I wanted to curate an exhibition that would do away with this line of questioning.”

Los Angeles, the site where so many normative, and often false, understandings of Islam are produced, was the perfect space for this exhibition to take place. “Los Angeles has been responsible for the ways much of the world views people from South Asia, North Africa, West Africa, and its diasporas. We understand that a lot of this is contributing to Islamophobia.”

Of course, there are also many more positive reasons to select Los Angeles. “L.A. is a ripe environment because these communities exist here; they’re part of the fabric. These discussions are happening in very natural ways around the city, but we want to formalize them and bring them to the surface. And explore the aesthetic aspects as well.”

Art Initiative Explores The Imagined Space Where Islam Meets L.A..

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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