MAS#ALLAH - Hawa Arsala - Artist Residency

July through August 2016

B4BEL4B Gallery presents Oakland based interdisciplinary artist Hawa Arsala this July for its first artist residency. Titled “MAS#ALLAH,” the project will serve as an incubator for dialogue about Middle Eastern cultural heritage, examining the ways traditions influence our identities as individuals and artists in the digital age, across national borders. Hawa intends to use the gallery not only to show her own work, but for collaborations among artists of Middle Eastern heritage from the Netherlands to Dubai.

Through a self­-portrait series that she will develop during the residency, Hawa will focus on her personal experience, navigating the parallel ways queer identity and traditional upbringing can co­-exist and tying a thread between her ancestry and the multi­-cultural spaces she inhabits. The residency will also include music performances, open hours intended for workshops, community building and installation work throughout the gallery.

“MAS#ALLAH,” which takes its name from an Arabic phrase of praise, gratitude and protection, seeks to inspire curiosity about the diverse cultural expressions of the Middle Eastern diaspora and the ways they influence today’s most forward- thinking creators.

Hawa Arsala is the creative producer of Browntourage; and curator of Konversation, an online art gallery that puts visual art, poetry and essays from artists all over the world in dialogue with one another. She brings her diverse experience as photographer and virtual curator to the table, to navigate the hybridized, multicultural spaces in today’s digitized world.