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Donia Human Rights Center pres.

Donia Human Rights Center Digital Artwork Presentation. "Other People's Words"

Amira Hanafi, New Media Artist

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Amira Hanafi works with language as a material, assembling polyvocal archives connected to particular histories, from which she then draws to make digital and print publications, performances, and installations. The artist will present her digital works 'We are fragmented' and 'A dictionary of the revolution,' reflecting on some of the questions and complications that arise when assembling text from other people's voices.

'We are fragmented' was made in response to research conducted in five countries by the Centre for Applied Human Rights at the University of York. Researchers spoke with human rights defenders around issues of security and wellbeing. The artist was given access to a collection of fragmented transcriptions of these interviews and commissioned to make a work about them. At the time of making this work, she was also completing the long-term project ‘A dictionary of the revolution,’ an experiment in polyvocal story-telling of the 2011 uprising in Egypt and its aftermath. For the project, she had collected over 200 hours of recorded conversation and woven transcriptions of this speech into 125 entries in ‘A dictionary’. Both works present new formats for reading through research, based in intuition, emotion, and connection.

Born 1979 in the US, Amira Hanafi has lived and worked in Cairo since 2010. Her work has been exhibited internationally, most recently at Dokk1 Library in Aarhus, Sodų 4 in Vilnius, Studio XX in Montréal, Flux Factory in New York, and at the Lisbon Consortium in Portugal. Her texts have appeared in Ibraaz, Matrix, Makhzin, Fence, American Letters & Commentary, and Index on Censorship, among other publications. She is the author of the books Forgery and Minced English, a number of limited edition artist’s books, and several works of electronic literature, including ‘A dictionary of the revolution,’ which won the Public Library Prize for Electronic Literature 2019, the New Media Writing Prize 2018, and the Artraker Award for Changing the Narrative 2017. She earned a Master of Fine Arts in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2008) and a Bachelor of Political Science from Rutgers College (2000).

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