Perpetual Movement | The memories of migration within the Arab world and its diaspora

By  | 

Perpetual Movement


1. Habiba, Yumna Al-Arashi, digital print on crystal archive paper, 2017, 76.2 x 61 cm


Perpetual Movement considers the relationship between migration and memory in connection to the Arab world and its diaspora. How does your memory of a place change once you have left? What happens if you are ethnically associated with a location but have never even been there? Memories can be inherited, they can alter from generation to generation, becoming fragmented, creating gaps that need to be filled. They can also change with time. Some memories can be buried, while others can be idealised.

The artists whose works comprise this exhibition have roots in Egypt, Kuwait, Syria, Yemen and the UAE, yet they are based in Europe and North America as well as in the Middle East. Some of them have been born into diaspora, others remain in the region, while others have left their homeland due to other circumstances. They all illustrate movement in their work in various ways, creating a rich, multilayered picture of young women from the region.


1. Ghaya, Shaikha Fahad Al Ketbi, archival pigment print, 2016, 100 x 70 cm


People have been moving to, from and through the Arab region for hundreds, even thousands of years. They still do. With them memories also move, are created and are altered through time. Sometimes travel is required to discover one’s own heritage. At other times movement is vital to seek safety. In our technological and globalized world, many of us have the gift of travel, but some our hindered due to powers beyond our control. Perpetual Movement addresses a multitude of reasons for and the impact of migration and investigates the fragmented memories that are created and passed on as a consequence of these actions. Movement can be both positive and negative, there are many reasons why it takes place, but it is always happening.

Curator: Lizzy Vartanian Collier


1. Al Yaqeen, Al-Hawiyah, Najd AlTaher, digital print on crystal archive paper, 2017, 120 x 80 cm

Arab Women Artists Now (AWAN) Festival 2018

AWAN, which is about to enter its 4th edition, showcases the work of contemporary Arab women artists in the UK, Europe and beyond, providing opportunities for artists and audiences to celebrate, be informed and network whilst exposing new audiences to the work of these often marginalized artists, providing a platform to present the work of Arab Women Artists.



1. Thana Faroq, digital print on crystal archive paper, 2017, 18 x 12.5 cm

Arts Canteen

Arts Canteen curates events, exhibitions and festivals that support emerging artists from the Arab World and their diasporas in bringing their work to new audiences in the UK and beyond. Working with UK-based education, non-profit, arts and outreach organisations, Arts Canteen facilitates the exchange of art and ideas across social and geographical boundaries.

The exhibition comprises the work of 7 emerging women artists with roots in the

Arab region: Yumna Al-Arashi, Nada Elkalaawy, Shaikha Fahad Al Ketbi, Thana

Faroq, Araz Farra, Nadia Gohar and Najd AlTaher.


1st – 25th March 2018, Rich Mix, London
As part of Arts Canteen’s Arab Women Artists Now (AWAN) Festival 2018

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *