Single section case binding structure, bookcloth for cover is made with dyed and repurposed Roberta Roller Rabbit tunic, pages are made with archival Okawara paper, woodblock prints on endsheets and spread on Kitakata paper
Buddhism and meditation have helped me feel grounded in hard times. There are a few books that have helped me understand the core message of this ancient practice. Books from the Shambhala tradition written by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and his son Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche have been a refuge for me. When I learned that Sakyong Mipham and other leaders in Shambhala committed acts of sexual misconduct and sexual assault against their students, I was disheartened. I put down the books that helped me so many times. As the pandemic has raged on, I find myself needing these books again. As I started rereading Ruling Your World by Sakyong Mipham, I discovered a new story. By erasing (obscuring) his words, I was able to compose a poem.
Artist’s book, 15 x 8 inches (closed), 15 x 23 inches (open), June 2020
Flag book structure, bookcloth for cover is made with repurposed embroidered Afghan shirt, pages are made with solar plate etchings of photographs appropriated from The New York Times reporting on the War on Terror
I’m happy to be a part of this exhibition featuring art, music, writing, performance and more by artists from Afghanistan and the diaspora.
“The exhibit, which runs until January 12, 2020, is designed to shift the conversation on Afghanistan and its diaspora, to focus on people’s everyday lived experience of extraordinary historical events. We at AAAWA hope that as the exhibit continues for the next 2 months, attendees get to see that we as Afghans and Afghan Americans are so much more than one dimensional characters in spectacular narratives of empire and war that have been perpetuated for much too long. This exhibit shows how Afghans live in their full humanity–experiencing joy, trauma, family, displacement, belonging, individuality, and community.”
Black Sonnet, 2018, Poem by Candace Williams, Collaboration with Candace Williams, Paper lithograph on Rives BFK paper, 8 1/2 x 10 1/2 inches
Candace Williams and I collaborated on this print featuring her poem “Black Sonnet”. We used a paper lithography process for it’s inky textures—to bring it from the digital space to paper. We made three variations of this print. Singing Saw Press will distribute copies of this print in a limited edition portfolio of broadsides called PARALLAX. Last two pictures are from the Parallax Six Issue Release Party at Wayfarers, where Candace and I discussed how we made this print.
Wrapped up a class at Parsons School of Design called Chapbooks and Writing. It was an amazing experience–a constant exchange of creativity and knowledge. I invited poets to talk about their process in collecting a body of work. Sahar Muradi introduced her chapbook Gates and taught the ghazal poetic form. Candace Williams read from her chapbook Spells for Black Wizards. Students letterpress printed their own messages based on the landay, a poetic form from Afghanistan.
“Salaam Alaikum” is a series of monotypes drawing lines from Muradi’s eponymous poem, which is concerned with how daily greetings take on new tenor in times of war. Here, greetings in Dari are layered with transliterations in English. Lines from the poem are in conversation with the meaning of the greetings. For example, “manda nabasheyn” is an expression of welcome that literally translates to “may you not be tired.” Whereas the full poem takes a dark turn with the arrival of war, in these excerpts we are interested in the interchange and play of languages, hand stenciled shapes, and colors—meeting, caressing, layering, as our languages do for each of us.
queer is monotype with writing from: lê thi diem thúy, Tejia Pavao (Audre Lorde quote), Vick Quezada and Jxhn Martin
These prints were produced for the Red Eye | Black Tie event at Amherst College. I was invited to make prints for the Queer Resource Center (QRC). After talking with the students at QRC I realized they should participate in making prints for their center. The term queer is slightly different for each person who identifies with it. Why not make prints where we each write our unique take on it.