Artwork: Courtesy of Najah Albukai

Talk: Organized by MENA Prison Forum & UMAM D&R
A Talk with Sumaya Tabbah and Susan Aboeid
Via Zoom
JUL 18, 2024

Date and Time: Thursday, July 18, 2024, 7:00 to 8:30 PM (Beirut Time), 12 PM (EST)

Location: Via Zoom

Language: English (with Arabic and English discussion)

Moderation: Mina Ibrahim

For prison survivors, creating art is a way to document the reality of incarceration, process experiences, and urge those on the outside not to “forget us here.” For prison impacted communities, art serves a similar purpose of documentation, processing, and the pursuit of justice. Prison art acts as an invitation to carry the burden of, and shed light onto, the cruelty of incarceration. Placing prison art from across the region in conversation with one another promotes drawing parallels between prison experiences, highlights the intentionality of carceral systems, and pushes the discourse to include prison impacted communities. 

Join the curators of  “A Prison, a Prisoner, and a Prison Guard:” An Exploration of Carcerality in the MENA Region for a conversation around the process of curating a virtual art exhibit spanning Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The event will touch on the process of hosting a prison art exhibit with the Arab diaspora in the United States, the universality of the prison experience as seen through prisons in the MENA region and the United States, and potential avenues for art as a tool for reconciliation, abolition, and documentation. 

Sumaya Tabbah's work focuses on carceral systems, the experience of imprisonment, and the use of torture by state and non-state actors. She has previously worked as an Arabic translator on topics including refugees, prison literature, and media in conflict zones. Her interests lie at the intersection of reconciliation and human rights. She holds an MA in International Peace and Conflict Resolution with a focus on reconciliation and justice and a BA in political science. 

Susan Aboeid’s work focuses on humanitarian disarmament and the protection of civilians from indiscriminate weapons such as landmines, cluster munitions, and autonomous weapons. She is an ‘Emerging Weapons Expert’ with the Forum on the Arms Trade and explores the impact and implications of indiscriminate weapons on communities of color and in the Global South. Susan holds a BA in Modern Middle Eastern Studies.