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Arwa Abouon

Ustadha [Woman Teacher]
Healing the Natural Way
Transmission
One on One

Artist

Arwa Abouon
Tripoli, Libya, 1982 – Montreal 2020

Title

Ustadha [Woman Teacher]
Healing the Natural Way
Transmission
One on One

Date

2018

Materials

3 ink-jet prints

Dimensions

102.5 x 103 cm (each)

Credits

Purchase, Canada Council for the Arts' New Chapter program, inv. 2018.132.1-3

Collection

Quebec and Canadian Art

A Canadian of Amazigh (Berber) ancestry, Arwa Abouon addresses the
implications of a plural identity. Through poetic references to Islam, she questions the status of the Other, as well as her own. To do so, she draws on her experience both as a Muslim living in the West and a Québécoise living within her Libyan community, examining the challenges of being a woman in a multicultural society. In this photographic triptych she places the spotlight on women in Islamic culture, as well as their role in the transmission of that culture, with scenes depicting the teaching and sharing of knowledge. Family plays an important part within her work. Abouon’s mother, the person who introduced her to the Koran, can be seen in the centre of the circle. The artist also alludes to the ornamental patterns of Islamic, especially Persian, architecture.

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