American art as Resistance Arab American News; 2/25/2005;
Siblani, M. Kay
DEARBORN - Jacqueline
Salloum and Yusef Namy's artwork seeks to resist stereotypes of
Arab terrorist men and oppressed women propagated by the media.
At an event at the University of Michigan-Dearborn this past week,
the two local artists showed their work and discussed how it responds,
resists, and rescripts dominant stereotypes of Arabs in U.S. culture.
several of her short films. A Palestinian/Syrian-American multi
media artist and filmmaker, she has widely exhibited her work both
nationally and internationally in art galleries, museums and film
festivals from New York to Europe and the Middle East. Her most
recent artwork focuses on challenging the stereotypes of Arabs in
film and media through collage, toys, gumball machines and film.
One of her films that takes on this theme is "Planet of the
Arabs," which was recently awarded "Best Editor"
at the Cinematexas film festival and was selected to be in the 2005
Sundance Film Festival, which she showed at this event.
Salloum is currently
working on her new documentary film, "SlingShot Hip-Hop: The
Palestinian Lyrical Front," which chronicles the lives of rappers
living in Gaza, the West Bank and in Israel. It aims to spotlight
alternative voices of resistance within the Palestinian struggle
and explore the role their music plays within their social, political
and personal lives. The audience viewed a clip from this upcoming
work as well.
had two of the toys she has created for the audience to view. One
was a commercially produced and packaged Caterpillar bulldozer called
"Caterrorpillar." Looking like the real thing, this bulldozer
and its packaging, however, spelled out how useful the item was
for terrorizing the Palestinian population. She has done the same
thing with an Apache helicopter and with gumball machines.
she believes using items and approaches that westerners are familiar
with, like hip-hop and toys, is a more effective way of getting
the Palestinian message across.
her MFA in Studio Art from New York University and BFA in Graphic
Design and Photography from Eastern Michigan University.
Yusef Namy is
a multi-media artist who seeks to promote and empower a cultural
image deserving of his Arab heritage. By appropriating images from
a culturally insensitive and illiterate media, he attempts to create
a consciousness of a people that is all too often misunderstood
and misrepresented. His expressions are related through exploiting
the digital medium from which many of these stereotypes are propagated.
However, his art is not only a means to educate those who are denied
exposure to a true Arab image, but serves also to clarify his own
identity, as well as inspire self-awareness for others. Various
works of his have been exhibited in
galleries, classrooms, and festivals across the country, most recently
including a permanent instillation on Arab stereotypes and discriminations,
to be incorporated within the Arab American National Museum.
This night he
previewed the design of his installation on Stereotypes and Discrimination
which will be part of the National Arab American Museum's permanent
collection in Detroit. The museum is opening in May. A 9 x 12 room
in the museum will be filled with still and digital images that
will collage into a message of what the stereotypes are and how
they affect Arab
from the University of Michigan School of Art with a BFA focusing
on media techonologies. He is based in a studio with a collective
of artists in Hamtramck. Examples of his visual diatribes can be
viewed on the web at www.olivetones.com. Jackie Salloum's website
This event was
sponsored by the Center for Arab American Studies.
copyright Arab American News.
This material is published under license from the publisher through
ProQuest Information and Learning Company, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
All inquiries regarding rights should be directed to ProQuest Information
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