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. Follow Rand on Instagram.
The work is being shown as part of Shubbak Festival 2021 at the Chelsea Physic Garden in London from Fri 25 June–Mon 19 July 2021 (closed Saturdays).
Sensitively positioned in the four-acre atmospheric garden grounds close to the Thames, three sculptural interventions will be set in dialogue with the wide range of plants from across the world, symbolic for the artist because of their resonance with themes of migration and dispersion. They create focal points for contemplation and reflection. A fourth intervention The Garden Scene will re-imagine of the relief of Queen Libbali-Sharrat’s Gardens at Ninevah, currently in the British Museum.
On select days 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 Chrystele Khodr and Lara Sawalha, the performance explores the sensory and emotional qualities of the garden.
Alongside the installation Rand Abdul Jabbar will be in conversation with curator Salma Tuqan on Fri 25 June, reflecting on the origin and distinctive evolution of the works.
On Wednesday 30 June Rand 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.
Rand Abdul Jabbar
Rand Abdul Jabbar engages in a multi-disciplinary approach to creative output, oscillating across the threshold between design, architecture, and the visual arts. Throughout her process, she often 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 remnants of historic, cultural and personal narratives surrounding Iraq. Abdul Jabbar interrogates the fragility of Iraq’s tangible heritage, creating and composing 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 recently been exhibited at the NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery, Jameel Arts Centre, Rabat Biennale, and the Biennale d'Architecture d'Orléans (2019). She has contributed texts to the Kuwait Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, Bayn Journal, WTD Magazine and Warehouse 421. Abdul Jabbar received a Master of Architecture from Columbia University in 2014.
Act I: Memories of Home
I would like to acknowledge 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 her care and diligence in the development of transcripts and translations of our conversations; Asmaa Al-Shabibi from Lawrie Shabibi Gallery for generously providing access to Larissa Sansour’s In Vitro film; and Youcef Hadjazi for his help with the documentation of research materials.