If I Have to Read “The Clash of Civilizations?” One More Time I Will Lose My Mind, 2021
2:49 min, video with sound
This piece laments Maitha’s experience of oscillating between her familial and collective spaces back in Sharjah, UAE and the academic spaces she is a part of at Oxford. The placement of Samuel Huntington’s 1993 text that politicizes and essentializes the “Islamic civilization” over a playful, inaudible conversation with her family members produces a contrast meant to feel jarring in the way it criticizes and implicitly rejects Western-centric perceptions of the artist’s and her family’s culture and socio-political context.
Umeeh and Yadoh, Who Pray for My Return*, 2021
35mm film, series
*My Grandmothers, Who Pray for My Return
Goat House, 2021
2:42 min, video with sound
This experimental performance situated in the artist’s grandmother’s goat house is overlaid with two bodies of text: a transcribed conversation between her father and his mother, and an amalgamation of different definitions of the root word ‘Ajam. The conversation about ‘Ajamis’ plight from Iran, conveyed in an ‘Ajami Emirati vernacular from the grandmother and an Emirati dialect from the father, aesthetically frames Maitha’s isolated and curious physical exploration of the goat house as the sun sets outside. The definitions of ‘Ajam, in fus’ha (formal, i.e., “correct”) Arabic, appear in a disorderly fashion, bombarding the explorative process in the same way that non-‘Ajami perceptions of ‘Ajaminess have shaken their narratives and histories.