Lamia Abukhadra is a Palestinian American artist. Her interdisciplinary research-based practice challenges harmful dominant narratives which perpetuate the settler colonial imagination as well as acts of violence and ethnic cleansing in Palestine and its diasporic spaces. Lamia graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in interdisciplinary studio art in 2018. Her work has been exhibited at Waiting Room, the Quarter Gallery, Soo Visual Arts Center, Yeah Maybe, and the Katherine E. Nash Gallery in Minneapolis and in Chicago at Unpacked Mobile Gallery. Lamia is a 2018-2019 Jerome Emerging Printmaking Resident at Highpoint Center for Printmaking. She is a 2019-2020 Home Workspace Program Fellow at Ashkal Alwan in Beirut. Notable projects include The Wall, a temporary public art installation supported by the Soap Factory’s Rethinking Public Spaces program in 2017.
My interdisciplinary research-based practice challenges harmful dominant narratives which perpetuate the settler colonial imagination as well as acts of violence and ethnic cleansing in Palestine and its diasporic spaces. I examine how violent colonial inventions of bureaucracy, terminology, urban planning, archiving, and geography affect the perception of Palestine, Palestinian experiences, representation, and historiography and embed my own alternative, sometimes imagined, frameworks which bring to light strange intimate and historical connections and poetic occurrences.
Recently, I have become interested in the term “infrastructures of intimacy,” which I first came across in an essay written by Sabrien Amrov, and its ability to universally encompass intersections of home and home-making, romantic love, safety, prosperity, place, and numerous other facets of belonging. This term is complicated when contextualized within contemporary and historical Palestine, as for the last 70 years, any form of home, safety, or prosperity has been constantly under attack by a settler colonial state. As I continue to research Palestinian history, ecologies, architecture, geopolitics, and economies and experience and witness griefs of my own, similarities in the expressions and cycles of loss have emerged. In losing an infrastructure of intimacy through displacement, death, or the end of a relationship, you are subjected to some form of ruin. Defined by Jalal Toufic as “places haunted by the living who inhabit them,” I see ruins existing as both physical spaces such as an abandoned home, and metaphysical spaces such as memory and human relationships, haunted as we inhabit and revisit them.
What happens when an infrastructure of intimacy becomes ruin and is subjected to what Toufic describes as a state of permanent labyrinthine anachronism? How do we who live amongst and in the aftermath of the ruins of these infrastructures reactivate spaces, memories, artifacts, and experiences through generative acts of self determination? These are questions I explore through writing, sculpture, print media, performance, and installation.