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Heba Y. Amin: When I see the future, I close my eyes 



Heba Amin gives a speech for Operation Sunken Sea

The Mosaic Rooms presents the first UK solo exhibition of artist Heba Y. Amin. This exhibition showcases the latest iterations of three bodies of work by the artist: Project Speak2Tweet, The General’s Stork and Operation Sunken Sea. All stem from real life subjects, including the new technological formats that were instrumental in Egypt’s revolution, a migratory bird turned international ‘spy’ and, finally, a proposal to ‘solve’ the migration crisis by draining the Mediterranean Sea.

Amin investigates how politics and events in the Middle East relate to global concerns, challenging colonialist narratives of conquest and control, while also exploring the totalitarian exploitation of technology. Her research-based multimedia works take speculative, and sometimes satirical, approaches to these ideas.

Alongside performances and interventions, Amin’s research integrates film, photography, and digital technology to think through present-day issues and the potential significance of occluded stories and previously overlooked archive material. The research incorporated in these works will be added to by the artist as the show unfolds.

Measures are in place to ensure the safety of your visit. There is no need to book. See visit information here.

The exhibition is curated by Anthony Downey.

The exhibition is accompanied by a programme of events, including the launch of a new book by Amin and Downey, Heba Y. Amin: The General’s Stork (Sternberg Press, 2020). Through the lens of paranoia that can lead to a bird being accused of spying, this volume reveals, with contributions from Adam Harvey, Adel Iskandar, Haitham Mossad, and Laura Poitras, the extent to which military techniques of visualization define and ultimately delimit the topography of the Middle East. Watch the video of this event.


Reviews – read more about the exhibition

Frieze – How Europe Used Surveillance to Control the Middle East

The National – Stranger than fiction, how Egyptian artist Heba Y. Amin uses history’s overlooked stories

Ocula – Heba Y. Amin brings storks and drones to London

Full press release here


Visitor information

Please note the gallery will be closed from the 16 December until regulations allow us to reopen in the New Year.

You do not need to book to see the exhibition. Measures are in place to ensure the safety and comfort of your visit. Read our visitor guidance.


Heba Y. Amin Heba Y. Amin, (b. 1980, Cairo) is a multi-media artist and Professor of Art at the Stuttgart State Academy for Art and Design. She is the co-founder of the Black Athena Collective, curator of visual art for the MIZNA journal, and currently sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Digital War. Heba Y. Amin was awarded the 2020 Sussmann Artist Award for artists committed to the idealof democracy and antifascism, and was selected as a Field of Vision Fellow, NYC (2019). Amin’s work has been shown in numerous exhibitions including Eye Film Museum, Amsterdam (2020), Quai Branly Museum, Paris (2020), MAXXI Museum, Rome (2018), Liverpool Biennial (2021), 10th Berlin Biennale (2018), 15th Istanbul Biennale (2017), and 12th Dak’Art Biennale (2016), to name a few. Read more

Anthony Downey is Professor of Visual Culture in the Middle East and North Africa (Birmingham City University). He is currently a Co-investigator on AHRC and GCRF–funded research projects that focus on cultural practices, education, and digital methodologies in Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan.
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Image: Operation Sunken Sea: Relocating the Mediterranean, Inaugural Speech, 2018 One channel video, 18’21”


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