Decolonizing Tongues, Weaving Futures: Indigenous/Arab Solidarity, Creativity and Linguistic Self-Determination

4:30-6 p.m. ET Saturday, April 13, 2024
Decolonizing Tongues, Weaving Futures: Indigenous/Arab Solidarity, Creativity and Linguistic Self-Determination

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Historically linked, Native and Arab peoples in the greater Michigan region continue to face issues of racial, cultural, economic, linguistic, educational and legal discrimination. In the face of persistent and increased white supremacy, militarism and ongoing colonization, Native and Arab communities have fought for self-determination, sovereignty and human/civil rights. What can be learned from the shared coalition building, sovereignty and human/civil rights struggles around land, language, self-determination and liberation?

Gathering together Indigenous and Arab artists, activists/organizers, and educators to engage these questions and the work of Doris Bittar and her collaborators, the Arab American National Museum will convene a panel that centers and acknowledges historical links between these communities and illustrate pathways forward together for the future.

Meet the Panelists

Doris Bittar’s interdisciplinary art maps and explores migratory patterns that overlap national boundaries. Originally from Lebanon, Bittar received a BFA at the State University of New York and an MFA from the University of California San Diego where she has lived for three decades. She taught at the University of California San Diego, California State University San Marcos, and the American University of Beirut over a 25-year period and is a published writer on art and politics. With over 20 solo exhibitions, Bittar’s art has been in several prominent group exhibits including biennales in Europe and the Arab world. Bittar is a core member of Gulf Labor and founded several nonprofits to promote Arab American community aspirations in Southern California. Bittar maintains the House of Palestine display in Balboa Park, has aided Syrian refugees in learning English as a second language, and is the founder of Protea Gallery, a nonprofit to promote Arab American art

Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhrán (he/they) is a multimedia artist, activist/organizer, critic and educator. A Tulsa Artist Fellow and National Endowment for the Arts Fellow, he is the author of Archipiélagos; Antes y después del Bronx: Lenapehoking; and South Bronx Breathing Lessons; editor of the international queer Indigenous issue of Yellow Medicine Review: A Journal of Indigenous Literature, Art, and Thought; and co-editor of the Native dance/movement/performance issue of Movement Research Performance Journal. Among Arab publications, his work appears in Lebanon in Rusted Radishes; in Morocco in Gallimaufry; in the U.S. in Mizna; A Different Path: An Anthology of the Radius of Arab American Writers; and Inclined to Speak: An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Poetry; and in Canada in El Ghourabaa: A Queer and Trans Arab and Arabophone Anthology.

Elder Lucy Harrison resides in Detroit, Michigan. She is a status member of Walpole Island / Bkejwanong First Nation in Southeastern Canada. Elder Lucy currently sits on a prestigious Knowledge Keepers Community at the University of Windsor. Her work spans a lifetime of commitment for improving the health and welfare of Indian people, emphasis of youth development, justice, and environmental work, and activism towards improved health, leadership, and preservation of cultural importance, among other endeavors and work connecting her to the land and water. Elder Lucy’s greatest gift is being a great grandmother and grandmother to her children’s children. She shares with her partner her love of their dogs and her gardening and farming work.

Noor Hindi (she/her/hers) is calling on you to join the global fight for the survival and liberation of Palestinians and all oppressed people. Anywhere and everywhere you are, you can disrupt, advocate, speak out and refuse in small and big ways. Revolution until freedom. Hindi is a Palestinian American poet. Her debut collection of poems, Dear God. Dear Bones. Dear Yellow (Haymarket Books 2022), was an honorable mention for the Arab American Book Award. She is currently editing a Palestinian poetry anthology with George Abraham (Haymarket Books, 2025). Follow her on Instagram @NoorKHindi

For questions, e-mail Fatima Al-Rasool at [email protected]

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Made possible in part by


Aliya Hassan Auditorium

This state-of-the-art Auditorium can accommodate up to 156 guests for concerts, poetry readings, theatrical performances, business presentations, workshops and more. There is comfortable, theatre-style seating, a professional stage and audio/visual system as well as access to an equipment technician for an additional cost. 

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