noogda nat be salkhu, rukhew agaynkhu
Artist: Niya Ahmed Abdullahi
“noogda nat be salkhu, rukhew agaynkhu”, is a love letter to the journey. This land has mothered, cared and sanctified all that is, for me. I was born here but still am foreign on this soil. I hail from Harar, Ethiopia. And being a third culture kid has always meant that I struggled with identity. Breaking down these restrictive concepts of home as a solid place was the creation of a more fluid ideation of home. Different moments, people, place and experiences is home. Tender sighs and sweet embraces by a loved one is home. Transporting the sounds, scents, and beauty of another home to my home has made me, me. I found my soul while being a guest and this represents that journey.
The patterns are a take on traditional Harari patterns used in straw weaving. I’ve learned learned this traditional practice from some elders in Harar. The weaving incorporates elements of traditional Harari art. Finding home has looked like learning more about my culture, listening to the stories of my people, understanding our collective plights and the displacement that brought us to Turtle island. The interconnectedness of these designs symbolizes the complexities within those paths, the capricious spaces and gaps, highlight the truth that the path is not clear but there is beauty in the irregular. Life is irregular by design.
About the Artist
Niya Ahmed Abdullahi
Niya Ahmed Abdullahi is a Multidisciplinary Artist, Technologist and the founder of @Habasooda, a collective dedicated to sharing the richness of the Muslim experience through a variety of storytelling avenues. Themes of identity, liberation and resistance inform her work. Her films have screened at TIFF Next Wave, Nuit Blanche Saskatoon, Breakthroughs Film Festival, Gallery 44, amongst others. She was a 2021 Hot Docs Accelerator Fellow and currently sits on the Advisory committee for the Nia Centre of the Arts BLACKOUT project and the City of Toronto’s ArtworksTO program.