Jarda  جاردا

  • Jarda installation © Elle Brotherhood

“The love of nature is like music… it is a common language that can transcend political and social boundaries” – Sanaa Sedaki, co-producer

21 July – 10 October 2021 @ People’s History Museum in Manchester

Never before have parks, fields and forests been so important to us. In the time when green space became our only outing, this co-produced mixed media installation questions who uses these spaces and how we experience them. Created across 6 workshops using photography, collage, self-portraiture and more, the art work invites you to re-question the spaces which we will never take for granted again.   

This project is led by artist and curator Jessica El Mal and created as part of our Arab Britain programme which explores the history, achievements and experiences of Arabs in Britain, past and present.  

El Mal’s practice regularly centres around ecology, the environment and migration. Her inspiration for Jarda جاردا came when the UK was still in lockdown and when parks, fields and forests became our only outing. Following a call out in May for women to take part as co-producers in the project, across June and July El Mal led 6 workshops, 5 of which were outdoors in Manchester and Salford’s green spaces including The Royal Horticultural Society’s Garden Bridgewater, Peel Park and We Are Mud’s allotment.  

Co-producers Maryam Alsaeid, Hibah Ali, Sanaa Sedaki, Hana Masaarane, Reem Alazemi and Soraya Agaoglu created artwork at these gardens using photography, collage, self-portraiture, screen-printing and more. The installation they have created to display their work invites you on an immersive walk in nature through Arab British eyes.

Visit the People’s History Museum website to plan your visit.

Alongside the physical exhibition in Manchester, the Arab British Centre have released a free pack of creative activities people can do from home to engage in the themes of Jarda جاردا.

The pack features exercises used by Jessica El Mal in the workshops alongside an activity created by pack designer Amina Salama. The activities encourage you to reflect on your own connection to green spaces, nature and identity. Suitable for adults and children and with indoor and outdoor activity options, the activities included are perfect for those wanting to engage in a creative or mindful activity.

We would love to see your responses to the pack! If you would like to be part of the online Jarda campaign, share with us your Jarda artworks and activity responses by emailing them to info@arabbritishcentre.org.uk or tagging them on social media with #ArabBritainJarda.

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