Loving Our Queer Hearts (“Queer”)

As part of Montreal, arts interculturels (MAI)’s artist-driven Complices Mentorship Program (a.k.a Alliance Program), “Loving Our Queer Hearts” has been an artistic exploration project embracing and exploring the intersections of Queer and Muslim identities by furthering my Urdu/Arabic-Persian Script calligraphy through the means of theatre and sculpting . My main focus was to learn the foundations in theatre (via the knowledgeable and generous Deborah Forde via Teesri Dunya) and hand sculpting skills (via the thoughtful Anders Bayly via Creations Li) by immersing myself in self-directed and collaborative-based pedagogical art processes vs solely focusing on an end result and product creation.

My process did result in a final project.  These ceramic art pieces depict the act of drinking tea.  It is informed by reflections on resistance and love.  One teacup (featured here) has a handle in the form of an arm and a hand that is placed around the teacup to represent a hand over one’s heart.  The word “Queer” is written around the cup in Urdu script. The other teacup (see next post) has a handle in the form of a raised fist depicting struggles for justice, including those against racism and hetero-patriarchy.  The Urdu word “Pyaar” (love) surrounds the cup.  

The act of drinking tea joins these ideas together in that drinking tea with a loved one, engaging in conversation about each other’s experiences, strategizing, and/or introspecting can be a simultaneous form of love (including self-love) and collective resistance. 

Please see IG @ farha.najah.art for more information on process and mentors.