Silsila — Arabic for ‘chain’ or ‘link’— is a multi-media installation depicting Alshaibi’s three-year cyclic journey through the significant deserts and endangered water sources of the Middle East and North African region and across to the bountiful waters the Maldives. By linking the performances in the deserts and waters of the historical Islamic world with the nomadic traditions of the region, and the travel journals of the great 14th century Eastern explorer, Ibn Battuta, Alshaibi seeks to unearth a story of continuity within the context of a threatened future. Silsila takes its inspiration from the Sufi poet Assadi Ali, who began each line of his poems, “I, the Desert”. An excerpt from his poem calls for us to recognize our common identity: “the grains of my sand rush in asking / begging You [Allah] to keep my descendents / and nation united”. Silsila is a story of a shared history and soon to be written future — the tales of the climate refugee and its geographic voice, and our search for connection with each other as interdependent peoples and nations plagued by an unthinkable future.
Courtesy of Ayyam Gallery
Music composed by Grey Filastine,
featuring Brent Arnold (cello) and Abdel Hak (violin)
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