(DIS)PLACED Arts Workshop

Posted On:
03 June, 2017
Past Events

Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture and Perry World House are pleased to present (DIS)PLACED: Arts Workshop

(DIS)PLACED: Philadelphia
(DIS)PLACED: Philadelphia

As part of (DIS)PLACED: Expressions of Identity in Transition, join installation artist BUTHAYNA ALI (from Damascus via skype), composer/musician KINAN ABOU-AFACH, and poet NAZEM EL SAYED for an afternoon exploring the theme of (dis)placement through art, poetry, music, and conversation! Each artist will lead a workshop inviting attendees in a creative expression and collective arts-making process.

Date: Thursday June 22, 2017
Time: 3:00 – 6:00 pm
Location: Perry World House | 3803 Locust Walk at Penn Campus | West Philadelphia
Tickets: FREE & Open to the Public – Click here to RSVP


3:00 – 3:15: Check-in & light refreshments

3:15 – 3:30: Presentation by Buthayna Ali (installation artist) about her work and living in Damascus – via skype projected on screen

3:30 – 3:50: Presentation by Kinan Abou-afach (cellist) and Hafez Kotain (percussionist) performing some contemporary and classical Arab music

3:50 – 4:05: Presentation by Nazem El Sayed (poet) and Huda Fakhreddine (Penn scholar) reading excerpts of new poetry and speaking about prose poetry genre

4:05 – 4:15: Transition to workshops

4:15 – 5:30: Workshops in 3 separate rooms:

  • ART with Buthayna, facilitated locally
  • MUSIC with Kinan and Hafez
  • POETRY with Nazem and Huda

We move.. sometimes
Physically.. changing house, town, city or country.. by choice or forced
Mentally.. dreaming, praying…
But we can take our thoughts out!
Thoughts stay in our mind wherever we move. Thoughts!
Each one of us wants to express them and has their own style.
All we need are the tools
tools that we can exploit.

Art Doors are open, and driven by Freedom…
Visual art is part of this freedom.
Subjects, questions and a word.. emotions and concerns
We want to share them! No matter whether we get answers or not.

From my simple knowledge and through my personal experience I want to
start with each of you a simple artwork. – Buthayna Ali


No matter what the reasons are, good or bad, at some point we have to pack and leave behind a stack of memories. We are not strangers to displacement and definitely not immune to it.

For those who are living the stages of displacement, from the black/white memories and encountering the cause of displacement, to reaching the final destination; every single story is unique, some are heartwarming and sweet, while others are agonizing and despondent, but we, as curious humans, always await the chapter’s ending, hoping for the cycle to complete and reach its “happy” destination. Hope is what is left. – Kinan Abou-afach


The history of the world is a history of immigration and migration. We are constantly migrating due to war or work, love or disaster; constantly displaced in our love relations and friendship, in our professions and our perceptions, in our habits and preferences. Every time we read a book we place ourselves in the position of the so called other. Every time we watch a movie we travel from the real to the virtual. Every time we try a different cuisine or explore a new costume from another culture, we experience an invisible migration. We share rituals and traditions; we borrow races and religions; we swap legends, the same way we trade goods. Displacement is a state of being, rather than simply an experience.  Displacement becomes identity. It is the myth of the self in a room full of mirrors we call the world. – Nazem El Sayed

5:30 – 6:00: Sharing of artistic work — each group shares what they did and highlights of discussion

6:00 – 6:30: Mingling & departure

Major support for (DIS)PLACED project is provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. Additional support by Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, and partners Penn Global and Mural Arts Philadelphia.