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Arwa Abouon

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


Arwa Abouon
Tripoli, Libya, 1982 – Montreal 2020


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




3 ink-jet prints


102.5 x 103 cm (each)


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


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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