hiba ali | oceans we carry: rough as silk
March 24, 2023– May 20, 2023
On view March 24–May 20, 2023
Free and open to the public
Squeaky Wheel presents a solo exhibition by artist hiba ali that utilizes videos, music, textiles, amongst other media. Through storytelling, oceans we carry: rough as silk explores the figure of the silk worm through visualizing the history and continued presence of African-descent communities from the Swahili-Indian ocean. They map the relationships between the Swahili coast of East Africa, South India and the Arab world.
The geographic location of the Indian Ocean contains the history of trade, that includes enslaved people, gold, spices, and many other cultural aspects that continue to be present in the lives of its people and diasporas. ali’s work activates the healing modalities of music, sound and storytelling as offering points of dialogue and contextualization. Their work anchors audiences in discussions of global anti-Blackness, colorism, and colonialism, broadening our understanding of these topics beyond the US.
Marking Squeaky Wheel’s first exhibition at our new space in the Tri-Main Center, the opening of the exhibition will feature remarks with the artist in person. A newly commissioned essay co-authored by Beheroze Shroff and Zavier Wingham on hiba ali’s work will be available at the opening, and made available online.
The exhibition is on view Tuesdays through Fridays, 12–5 pm and by appointment. Click here for visit, transportation, and access information for our new location. To make an appointment or inquire about group tours, email firstname.lastname@example.org .
ali, who was selected as Squeaky Wheel’s pilot Artist & Mentor residency program in Fall 2020, will also participate in several public programs taking place in Buffalo and our region. Special thank you to Claire Schneider and Jean-Michel Reed, Lindsey Lodhie and the Alternative Cinema Series at Colgate University, and Paige Sarlin and the PLASMA Speaker Series at the University at Buffalo. See more information below.
Friday, March 24, 6–8 pm @ Squeaky Wheel
Opening of the exhibition with brief remarks by the artist
Monday, March 27, 6:30 pm @ University at Buffalo North Campus, CFA 112
hiba ali at the PLASMA Speaker Series, presented by the Department of Media Study. Click here for more information.
Tuesday, March 28, 6:30 pm @ Colgate University, Hamilton, NY
hiba ali at the Alternative Cinema Series. Click here for more information.
Friday, July 21, 11:30 am ET @ online
In conversation: hiba ali, with Beheroze Shroff and Zavier Wingham. Click here for more information.
Brochure and Mix Tapes
Click here to download a PDF of the brochure, featuring a newly commissioned essay by Beheroze Shroff and Zavier Wingham.
Below, you can find the soundcloud embeds to the mixtapes that accompany the indian ocean mixes vinyl installation (2020-2023)
About the artist and contributors
hiba ali is a producer of moving images, sounds, garments and words. they reside in many time zones: chicago, toronto and eugene. born in karachi, pakistan, they belong to east african, south asian and arab diasporas. they are a practitioner and (re)learner of swahili, urdu, arabic and spanish languages. they work on two long term art and publication projects: the first being an art-based phd project that examines womyn of colour’s labour, and architecture of surveillance as it exists within the monopoly of amazon (corp.) and the second being a series of works that addresses music, cloth and ritual practices that connect east africa, south asia and the arabian peninsula in the swahili-indian ocean region.
they are an assistant professor at the college of design in the art & technology program at the university of oregon in eugene and they teach on decolonial, feminist, anti-racist frameworks in digital art pedagogies. currently, they are a phd candidate in cultural studies at queens university in kingston, ontario. their work has been presented in chicago, stockholm, vienna, berlin, toronto, new york, istanbul, são paulo, detroit, windsor, dubai, austin, vancouver, and portland. they have written for the following magazines: “c”, the seen, newcity chicago, art chicago, art dubai, the state, medium’s zora, rtv, and topical cream.
note: the profile picture indicates the need to not be perceived by all carceral, surveillant and monitoring systems including the corporeal, digital and virtual. the use of lowercase on this site denotes a turn away from egotism embedded in the english language (danah michele boyd) and towards ideas of the collective (bell hooks) and reminds us of the many realities, names and glyphs that cannot be said in such a colonial language.
Beheroze Shroff teaches in the Department of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Irvine. A long-time scholar of Siddis, Indians of African descent in Gujarat, Shroff has published widely in several journals and anthologies, and documented on film different aspects of contemporary Siddi life, in Gujarat. Most recently, in 2020, Shroff co-edited a three-volume publication titled Afro-South Asia in the Global African Diaspora, which explores the ways in which Africans and people of African descent have shaped and have been shaped by histories, cultures, and societies of South Asia. Her documentaries have been shown in public and academic venues: at Monsoons and Migrations: Unleashing Dhow Synergies– Conference in Association with the Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF); The African Diaspora in Asia conference (TADIA) Goa; Samosa Arts and Culture Festival (Nairobi); Max Planck Institute (Halle); School of Oriental and African Studies and Institute of Commonwealth Studies University of London; Schomburg Library and Museum of Black Culture (New York); Malcolm X Library (San Diego, California) and Pan African Film Festivals (Los Angeles), among others.
Zavier Wingham (he/they) is a writer, editor, and PhD candidate in the joint program for History and Middle East and Islamic Studies at New York University, with an additional concentration in the history of the African Diaspora. Their dissertation research explores how changing Ottoman elite conceptions of race, slavery, and blackness in the Ottoman Empire contributed to new forms of racialization of enslaved and manumitted Africans between the 1840s and the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, as well as how Africans in the Ottoman empire experienced these processes of racialization and sought to create new kinds of community and ways of living. Their work has been supported by Fulbright, ARIT, and Koç University’s ANAMED. More of their work can be found at zavierwingham.com
This project was made possible through support from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and Humanities New York with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.