Extended, but still with quite limited and restricted access. Thank you.
Using archival materials, photos, and art, Stamps Gallery's "Halal Metropolis" explores the Muslim world of Southeast Michigan
Dearborn has one the largest Muslim population in the U.S. and Michigan as a whole is in the top 10, but the faith's followers are sometimes overlooked when discussing culture and presence in the Southeastern part of the state.
University of Michigan's Stamps Gallery has hosted an exhibition, Halal Metropolis, since May 22 that explores the Muslim world in Southeast Michigan, blending "archival materials, social and political artifacts, photography, and art to explore the congruent and contradicting ideas, aesthetics, and cultures working to make the halal metropolis both a real and imaginary entity," according to the gallery's webpage.
Halal Metropolis features works by Amna Asghar, Qais Assali, BGIRL MAMA, Nour Ballout, Adnan Charara, Kecia Escoe, Parisa Ghaderi, Anthony Keith Giannini, Razi Jafri, Osman Khan, Maamoul Press, Endi Poskovic, Haleem ‘Stringz’ Rasul, and Reem Taki.
“This is part of a series of exhibitions we’ve presented in recent years that looks at the visibility, and in some sense, the invisibility of the Muslim population in our state,” artist and co-curator Omar Khan told the University of Michigan News in a recent article. “They’re very visible, but in the Detroit narrative, they’re sort of lost.”
In the same piece, artist Razi Jafri said, “Often stories about Muslims in America in general are not very nuanced. They’re presented as monolithic or single-minded. What we want people to really take away from this exhibition is an understanding of how diverse, multiethnic and multicultural we are—and we also want to highlight how Muslims are inextricable from the cultural fabric and of American history.”
I've not had a chance to see the exhibition yet, but it was recently extended to July 20, so it gives us all a chance. The show is free and the gallery is open to the public but it's still appointment only on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with advance registration.
In June, Stamps hosted four Zoom chats discussing elements of the show and interviews with some of the artists, creators, chefs, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, co-curator Sally Howell, and more. We've collected those videos below along with some images from the gallery and additional short video interviews with some of the artists.
Gallery Talk: Muslim Feminist Futures - June 3, 7-8:30 pm - This webinar/virtual gallery explored the work of Muslim women at the fore of feminism’s future. Arts & Culture Organizer Piper Carter, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Saima Mohsin, and Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib sat for a conversation, moderated by Halal Metropolis curator Sally Howell, on emerging leadership in the Muslim community of Southeast Michigan.
Gallery Talk: Halal Metropolis Artists Talk - June 10, 7-8:30 pm - This webinar/virtual gallery talk explored the work of several artists included in the Halal Metropolis exhibition. Amna Asghar, Adnan Charara, and Endi Poskovic chatted with Halal Metropolis curator and artist, Osman Khan, to discuss the motivations and aesthetics of the artwork they have contributed to this installation.
Gallery Talk: Detroit Culinary Champions - June 17, 7-8:30 pm - This webinar/virtual gallery talk will feature three highly celebrated chefs in Detroit, each of whom brings a new aesthetic, new culinary ideas, and a new way of presenting halal food to new audiences. Chefs Omar Anani, Warda Bouguettaya, and Mamba Hamissi talked with Halal Metropolis curator Sally Howell on their respective projects, the role of food in their communities, and the way their work participates in redefining the future of Detroit.
Gallery Talk: Campus Campaigns - June 24, 7-8:30 pm - This webinar/virtual gallery talk will focus on the work of Muslim student activists at the Univeristy of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Anis Rahman, Jumanah Saadeh, and Zeina Reda will sit down for a conversation, moderated by Halal Metropolis Project Manager Asma Baban, on the power of student activism within the university system, the role of student leaders, and the specific campaigns that animate their collaborations on campus.
Christopher Porter is a library technician and the editor of Pulp.
"Halal Metropolis" runs through July 20 at Stamps Gallery, 201 South Division Street, Ann Arbor. The show is free and the gallery is open to the public but it's still appointment only on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with advance registration.