Shayma Nader

Shayma Nader is a visual artist who collaborates with musicians and writers. Born in Jerusalem, she lives and works in Ramallah, Palestine. Her recent work has explored issues of environmental injustice and socio-political dynamics within resistance movements.

A recurring theme in her work is the transmission of experience through narration. This has manifested in projects in which she aims to create alternative realities and histories through altering modes of receiving and communicating collective experience and knowledge. Consequently, she wonders how we envision a future to share and how do we understand and recreate ourselves under the weight of collective memory.

Shayma Nader received a BA in Contemporary Visual Arts from The International Academy of Art in Palestine in 2015, and completed her MA in Global Creative and Cultural Industries at SOAS, University of London in 2017 with a focus on political musical expressions and their role in shaping national identity and social relations. She also took part in the Home Workspace Programme (HWP) at Ashkal Alwan in its 6th round in Beirut.

She has participated in several exhibitions in the past few years, including: See You in the Hague at Stroom Den Haag (2014); The Local at Darat El-Funun (2015); Rituals of Everyday at Brunei Gallery (2016); HWP Open Studios at Ashkal Alwan (2017); Between Wells at LE 18 (2017); Charita at LE 18 (2018); and Unidee Open Studios at Fondazione Pistoletto (2018).

In 2017, she began research in Morocco through the residency programme KIBRIT and as part of LE 18’s long-term project Qanat. During this time she developed the work Tussamrt, which focused on the environmental and civil disputes linked to water mismanagement in Imider (Morocco).

Shayma Nader took up residence with LE 18 in Morocco from 25 March – 19 May 2018 and with Quarantine in their Tenancy house on the border of Manchester and Salford, UK from 24 April – 11 May 2019.

During her residency in Morocco, Shayma Nader developed the work Nothing is Owned, Everything is Shared, which takes the form of a musical narrative composed of 10-12 songs and poems. It documents the struggle of protest group ‘Movement on Road 96’ against Managem, a silver mining company that has been depleting and polluting Imider's water reserve since the 1980s. It highlights environmental injustices and socio-political grassroots movements, and the ways in which traditional oral forms are used to contest dominant power structures and strengthen community ties. The album traces the history of the movement through its music, and aims to show how songs and poetry are utilised to relay information, create counter-narratives, and enhance coherence and solidarity within the movement, while simultaneously connecting it with other struggles across the region.

In Manchester & Salford, Shayma undertook a project exploring the musicality of the Quran, visiting mosques across the two cities. Her work culminated in a new sound work, which was premiered at a listening session in the Tenancy house on 13 June 2019. The work, called Find & Seek, explores what a different soundscape of the cities could be if it was amplified. Following sounds that are ubiquitous but hidden within the walls of the cities, it uncovers memories through our shared acoustic musical heritage.

< Sarah Vanhee & Flore Herman

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