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Fish in Persian Gardens

Fish in Persian Gardens
Extracts of Poetry and Literature as Revolt

Illustrations by Zahra Marwan

December 6, 2019 – January 10, 2020

OPENING RECEPTION: December 6, from 6 – 8 pm
With Performances at 7 by Cory McBride, Amir Raeisi, and Al Shammari.

 

Arabs have complacently considered themselves to be a people of poets, indeed, the people of poets. Poetry was the record of their lofty deeds, their claim to glory, their secret garden, their diwan.

 

Abdelfattah Kilito – Arabs and the Art of Storytelling

 

Sometimes when listening to a modern song from the Middle East, it turns out to be a 7th-century poem. There is a long tradition and pride in literature and poetry amongst the Arabs, Persians, Bedouins, Andalusians and cultural groups in between and through their expansions. Often attracting mass audiences from rural villages to sophisticated capital cities. Even in modern times, they continue to have an impact on popular culture. Where visuals come to life from language and text. It is a longstanding platform for people to openly critique or lament, to feel pride. There is also despotism and nationalism in the use of this tradition.

 

These illustrative works of poems are a reflection of the subversive ways in which people express their grief, nostalgia, love, and breaks in community s. Perhaps not explicitly for revolt, but irregularities and abstractions of it. The content of these illustrations stems directly from the language expressed. Whether they were exiled, killed, or appreciated for being headstrong, these pieces are also reflections of the fatigue associated with their fight.