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Arabic Letter Seen Arabic Letter Wow

Performative Essay

14/09/21 6pm


Please join us on ZOOM HERE for this online event (6pm BST):
Meeting ID: 840 2621 0013
Passcode: 096438

What does it mean to exist as an image, as something seen but never comprehended? What happens when a language is visible yet continually misread, or made illegible?

‘Arabic Letter Seen Arabic Letter Wow’ is a performative essay that investigates the relationships between image, language, and power. Presenting a collection of found materials, Urok Shirhan speculates on practices that engage with Arabic through forms of Othering – as well as resistance. She explores the extent to which these practices amount to what she sees as ‘the slow violence of images’ .

Urok Shirhan is an artist and researcher working at the intersection of performance, visual arts and critical theory. Her practice explores the politics and poetics of sound, image and speech in relation to power and affect. As an Iraqi-born, former asylum-seeker turned Dutch citizen, issues surrounding identity and displacement are of particular interest, and her projects are often informed by her family’s history of political migrations. Urok’s latest body of research considers the role of sound (and the voice in particular) in relation to forms of collectivity, dissidence and belonging.

Image 1: Courtesy of Urok Shirhan.
Image 2: Photo credit Tim Bowditch. Courtesy Delfina Foundation, 2018.


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