About the project
Every Act of Recognition Alters What Survives interrogates the varied and often conflicting shades of diasporic experience through a research-based participatory process involving a multi-generational group of contributors from the Iraqi and Arab community in London. Through a constructive engagement with memory and oral narratives, the project examines personal and collective attitudes towards remembrance, as well as the reverberating impacts of displacement across time. This ongoing process aims to generate a series of ‘acts’ composed of fragmentary recordings and reconstructions that facilitate contemplation and imagination while narrating shared experiences and personal meditations on memory, migration, and legacy.
This website serves as a dynamic repository for the project and its content will continue to expand as the project evolves.
5 December 2021, 3-5pm
Join artist Rand Abdul Jabbar for a stroll through the Botanical Garden at Umm Al Emarat Park and engage in drawing exercises outdoors in response to her installation Act II: The Climbing Vine.
19, 20 November & 11 December 2021
Najah Mhana leads audiences through a performative reading of Entissar Hajali's personal text The Climbing Vine within the Botanical Garden at Umm Al Emarat Park.
Plan your visit
17 November - 30 December 2021
Act II: The Climbing Vine has been re-imagined for Abu Dhabi Art within the grounds of the Botanical Garden at Umm Al Emarat Park as part of the The Rocks are Singing to the Sky, a performance programme curated by Rose Lejeune. Three sculptural interventions are set in dialogue with the plants of the garden and provide sites for contemplation and reflection. On certain days Najah Mhana leads audiences through a performative reading of Entissar Hajali's personal text The Climbing Vine.
25 June - 19 July 2021
The work is being shown as part of Shubbak Festival 2021 at the Chelsea Physic Garden in London.
Plan your visit
25 June & 1, 4, 11, 15 July 2021
Co-collaborator Entissar Hajali, one of the original workshop members, leads audiences through a performance walk, reciting her specially written personal text The Climbing Vine. Devised with directors Chrystèle Khodr and Lara Sawalha, the performance explores the sensory and emotional qualities of the garden.
Book your tickets
Fri 25 June 2021, 1pm
Alongside the installation Rand Abdul Jabbar will be in conversation with curator Salma Tuqan on Fri 25 June, 1pm (BST), reflecting on the origin and distinctive evolution of the works. Free and online, but booking required.
Wed 30 June 2021
Artist Dia Batal leads an open workshop in which daughters, mothers, and grandmothers are invited to explore the impact of memory and oral histories across multiple generations through drawing, writing and performance exercises in the garden.
10 July 2021
Acts of Recognition, Zoom talk, 19:00 - 20:30
This two-part talk will feature an initial presentation by Rand Abdul Jabbar in which she provides an overview of the conception and development of her latest work, Every Act of Recognition Alters What Survives. She will then be joined by a small group of project participants and contributors for a discussion examining personal and collective attitudes towards remembrance, migration, and legacy.
Rand Abdul Jabbar
Rand Abdul Jabbar (b. Baghdad, 1990) borrows from and reconstructs the ephemera of place, history and memory, employing design, sculpture and installation as primary mediums of operation. Current research pursuits examine historic, cultural and archaeological narratives surrounding Iraq, interrogating the fragility of its remnants to create and compose forms that draw on artefacts, architecture and mythology. Simultaneously, she explores and contests with individual and collective memory to produce fragmentary reconstructions of historic events and past experiences. Her work has been exhibited at SAVVY Contemporary, the NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery, Jameel Arts Centre, Rabat Biennale, and the Biennale d’Architecture d’Orléans. Abdul Jabbar received a Master of Architecture from Columbia University in 2014.
Act I: Memories of Home
The wonderful women who participated in the Memories of Home workshop – Amal, Alaa, Arwa, Ashtar, Asmaa, Dania, Diyan, Fawzia, Hakimeh, Maha, Maysoun, Nadia, Nedal, Nazli, Rasha, Rayya, Sanaa, Shezza, Souad, Yasmin and Zainab; and those who engaged with the subsequent conversations – Alaa, Gheed, Mysa, Sarah Joy and Tara.
Taghrid Choucair-Vizoso, Rayya Ali, Eckhard Thiemann, Jackie Friend and Lucy Foster for their thoughtful engagement and support in realising this first phase; Basil Al-Rawi for joining us as a guest speaker and sharing his process and inspiration; Deema Alghunaim for the development of transcripts and translations of our conversations; Asmaa Al-Shabibi from Lawrie Shabibi Gallery for kindly providing access to Larissa Sansour’s In Vitro film; and Youcef Hadjazi for the documentation of research materials.
Act II: The Climbing Vine
Act III: The Garden Scene
Entissar Hajali for embarking on this journey together and lending an abundant source of inspiration; Taghrid Choucair Vizoso for her care and invaluable contributions to the development of the work; Mona Al-Jadir for driving the direction of the research and being a close confidant and sounding board; Eckhard Thiemann for entrusting me with this responsibility; Jackie Friend, Ameerah Ayyad and the extended Shubbak Festival team for their support; Katy Parry for welcoming us into the Chelsea Physic Garden; Kathy Barber for shaping the delicate and multi-layered experience of the website; Sara Farrell for orchestrating production and installation; Arthur Steward and Ratio Workshop for bringing the sculptures to life; Rebecca Pereira for her advice on the relief and Alejandro Stein for his advice on its display.
Commissioned by Shubbak Festival and presented with support from Paul Hamlyn Foundation, British Institute for the Study of Iraq, and in collaboration with Chelsea Physic Garden, Kensington + Chelsea Art Week.