Silsila Arabic for ‘chain’ or ‘link’— is a multi-media project depicting Alshaibi’s seven-year cyclic journey through the significant deserts and endangered water sources of the Middle East and North African region. Through this body of work, the artist examines connections between different cultures that are under threat of displacement, recognizing shared global issues that need to be addressed.
Inspired by the great 14th-century Moroccan traveler Ibn Battuta, Alshaibi loosely followed his ancient paths through the present-day Middle East and North Africa, to the islands of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean, a nation slated to be the first to “disappear” by rising tides, and onto Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean, another island on the brink of extinction with. Alshaibi establishes that this recognition of geological interconnectedness and human interdependence is essential to addressing environmental issues. According to the artist, the story of water and desert is an enduring paradox and starting point for broader and philosophical readings that place mystical and historical importance on the natural world and point to our uncertain ecological future.
Sama Alshaibi Sama Alshaibi was born in Basra to an Iraqi father and a Palestinian mother, Sama Alshaibi is based in the United States, where she is a Regents Chair of Photography, Video, and Imaging at the University of Arizona, Tucson. She holds a BA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago and an MFA in Photography, Video, and Media Arts from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
This project is sponsored by a grant from the Lilla B. Morgan Memorial Endowment, a premier supporter of arts and culture at CSU. Please help grow this fund with a gift.
Environmental Justice thru the Arts Series The Clara Hatton Gallery, in partnership with the Center for Fine Art Photography, and the Center for Environmental Justice at CSU strives to engage the Northern Colorado community on issues around environmental justice, equity, and diversity.
The goal of this project is to create a series of exhibitions under the umbrella of Environmental Justice Thru the Arts to highlight discrepancies in equity and diversity in relation to environmental issues. Every year, the Hatton Gallery will host a new exhibition on the issue, in conjunction with environmental artists and scholars, which will spotlight how climate change affects various groups of people, especially minorities and the underprivileged.
Climate Change and Environmental Justice are issues that touch us all and affect all of our lives in a variety of ways. Combating climate change and its effects should be something we all strive for, but some are being left behind. Climate change has a more drastic impact on certain populations. This exhibition aims to showcase how we can address the inequities that climate change creates and how we can make a change.
Every edition of the series will cover a specific element of Environmental Justice: such as earth, water, wind, and fire.