“The love of nature is like music… it is a common language that can transcend political and social boundaries” – Sanaa Sedaki, co-producer
Never before have parks, fields and forests been so important to us. In the year 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 other techniques. The installation they have created to display their work invites you on an immersive walk in nature through Arab British eyes.
Alongside the physical exhibition in Manchester, the Arab British Centre will be releasing a free digital pack of creative activities people can do from home to engage in the themes of Jarda جاردا and reflect on their own connection to green spaces. Audiences will be invited to submit their activity responses where they will be shared online as part of the digital campaign as well as displayed online as part of the upcoming Arab Britain digital gallery.
To register your interest in the Activity Pack and receive it straight to your inbox, sign up now here.