Water and Fire, Rio: A Collaborative Community Art Work

Where: Universidade Federal Fluminense - Gragoatá Campus, Niterói, Rio de Janeiro - ground floor, outside block C, next to the entrance
When: July, 28 - 11-1:15pm

 A Collaborative Community Art Work

In 2006, Sudanese American artist Elshafei Dafalla Mohamed created the installation, Water and Fire: message from my hometown, Sennar. The original artist’s statement read:

"Water and Fire is a cry from my hometown Sennar, on the banks of the Blue Nile. A cry for peace, against dictatorship, torture, and cruelty. A demand for justice to political prisoners all over the world, from Khartoum to Abu Ghraib to Camp Delta at Guantánamo Bay. This visual message is made to recognize all journalists, photographers and videographers who are trying to bring the truth to people in other places, but it is dedicated to Sami al-Hajj, a videographer for al Jazeera from my hometown who was held without charge in Guantánamo for seven years before being released."

In the intervening years, Sami al Hajj was indeed released; the political regime that created Camp Delta has been replaced, and the process of dismantling Guantánamo is underway. Still, the problems of torture and other human rights violations, of political oppression, and of persecution of journalists continue, and Elshafei has staged Water and Fire on several occasions in 2011 in order to give the public a voice to express their ideas, feelings, and opinions about these ongoing problems.

Please join Elshafei at Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niterói, Rio de Janeiro at 11am to participate in making the “Rio” version of this collaborative, participatory community art installation, offered by the International American Studies Association in conjunction with the panel “Scattered Geographies: Obscure Visions of State-Sponsored Terror,” chaired by Greg Mullins in ROOM #218 at 1:30pm. The artist will be part of that panel as well, discussing his work.