Syahidah's newest works will be showcased at these upcoming events:
Saturday, November 26, 2022
3:30 - 6:30 PM
Arts in Color, an Artvocacy Solo Exhibition
1843 14th Street NW, 3rd Floor
Washington, DC 20009
Detachment is Syahidah Osman's Solo Art Exhibition at Arts in Color. The series of black and white artwork is a revisit of her past series on Essentialism and how she uses it to gather the fundamental truths of her subjects. She seeks to reveal the essential lines of her chosen subjects, presenting them so that their core can best be understood. She will also be revealing her interpretation of the battle between the sexes and two surprise art pieces dedicated to the devils, one in the East and the other in the West.
The Quiet Evanescence
Thursday, December 8 - Saturday, December 10, 2022
George Washington University
The seed of this exhibition was planted in Lawrence, Kansas back in 2016 when Syahidah got to know a Uyghur photographer, Albikem through Gulnar Eziz, a Uyghur linguist professor in Harvard. Seeing the beauty of East Turkestan and hearing the fear they have for their families back in their homeland was disconcerting. Fast forward 6 years on, she read many interviews from many Uyghurs that were forced to flee their country and reports from different news sources confirming the atrocities. However, there is also a backlash of denials and lies from the Chinese Communist Party’s officials and the media.
In this art project named The Quiet Evanescence, Syahidah wants to showcase the missing person of East Turkestan. The photographs are maps of mass internment camps compiled by The Xinjiang Data Project by Australian Strategic Policy Institute. The drawings and information on the missing Uyghur people are from the Xinjiang Victim Database. Millions are being locked up in camps, given severe prison terms, or kept in notoriously inhumane police custody. Many have had their passports confiscated and considerable numbers assigned to forced labour. Many more are simply missing or disappeared. Children with detained parents have also been placed in difficult circumstances, with some taken away to boarding schools / orphanages.
What kind of harm is being done to them? Based on the U.N 2020 tribunal, the State Violence Against the Uyghurs from 2017 to the present time included; 1. Mass Surveillance, 2. Prohibitions on Uyghur religious and cultural expression, 3. Destruction of Uyghur religious and cultural property, 4. Mass incarceration, 5. Torture and ill-treatment, 6. Sexual violence 7. Forced labour 8. Transfer of Uyghur children, 9. Forced Sterilisation, and 10, Mass Incarceration.
How can we make a difference? Action takes many forms. We are all consumers. Find out if the goods you bought are created by forced labour. If the companies are involved. Stop buying from them. Although not calling for a boycott of China overall, multiple organisations are calling instead on companies to exit the Uyghur Region. We need to educate ourselves on the widespread use of forced labour in global supply chains. Sign petitions and actions online, which can be found through the End Uyghur Forced Labour.
“I am using my artwork as a catalyst for political change. Art is unique in its capacity to enable visionary thinking and to bring communities and perhaps policymakers together to engage in challenging conversations. We cannot prevent this active genocide but we can prevent a second holocaust. If freedom matters so much to us. Should it not matter to them? ~ Syahidah Osman