September 24, 2020
Muslim Advocates, Shangri La Museum Launch Virtual Exhibition Envisioning a Just Future
Muslim and Allied Artists of Color Imagine America Free of Hate & Discrimination
WASHINGTON, DC — This week, Muslim Advocates and the Shangri La Museum of Islamic Art, Culture & Design launched American Muslim Futures, a groundbreaking, new virtual art exhibition that dares to envision a future free from hate against Muslims and all Americans. The exhibition features the work of 23 Muslim and allied artists and includes paintings, photographs, songs, short films, fashion and more. American Muslim Futures is also available to classrooms as a free educational tool.
American Muslim Futures launched with a virtual showcase at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. More than 350 artists from 34 states submitted art for the exhibit, which was then evaluated by an esteemed panel of cultural leaders. The 23 finalists include Black, Latinx, Asian and queer Muslim and allied artists from all over the nation. The online exhibit showcases the 23 works of art alongside audio and video reflections by the featured artists. Visitors are also encouraged to share their reflections on the exhibit for public display.
“At a time when American Muslims are demonized by political leaders, surveilled by the government and targeted by hate, American Muslim Futures shows a new path forward for all Americans — one that is rooted in solidarity, committed to equity and inspired by beauty,” said Muslim Advocates Digital Advocacy Officer Erik W. Martínez Resly. “The artists in this exhibit courageously declare, in the words of featured artist Sauliha Mitchell, that ‘we are the future and it’s time everyone made the decision to stay behind or to come along.’”
“This collaboration between Shangri La Museum of Islamic Art, Culture & Design and Muslim Advocates highlights how arts and advocacy organizations can work together to celebrate visions of the country in its fullest expression. America’s brightest moments are realized when artists and communities are called to dream of a better tomorrow,” stated Dr. Konrad Ng, Executive Director, Shangri La Museum of Islamic Art, Culture & Design.
“The whole reason for my artwork is I felt that the spaces where pieces of my cultural heritage are held are not made for my community. But American Muslim Futures has created that space. I’ve never seen a platform like this before that centers such a wide range of Muslim and allied experiences. By specifically asking artists to “imagine a just American future” this exhibit encourages the audience to continue to fight for civil rights, by giving everyone a vision to pursue and hope for a better future.” –American Muslim Futures featured artist Roya Ahmadi, a Muslim-raised, Iranian-American painter and high school student from Cupertino, California
“I’m a son of immigrants who grew up below the poverty line. Struggle has shown me how unjust the world can be, but my community has shown me what is possible. It’s important to dream, and to work towards those dreams by making them a reality. This exhibit is a reminder of how far we’ve come and how far we need to go.” –American Muslim Futures featured artist Conrado Muluc, a Honduran American multidisciplinary artist from Alexandria, Virginia
“As a contemporary artist of African descent living in New York, and a proud Muslim, I believe the time has come to voice out my concern, a concern for most rising young Muslims. I hope this exhibit becomes a monumental storytelling device in the hearts of our youth to engender peace,” –Tijay Mohammed, a Ghanaian-born contemporary artist living in the Bronx, New York
“A just future to me is feeling safe as an Afro-Latina Muslim woman. That my Blackness is not going to be seen as a weapon. That my womanness is not going to be attacked or seen as a vulnerability, but a strength.” –American Muslim Futures featured artist Myree T, an actress featured in the short film “Gospel No. 1” by Shireen Alihaji & Brandy Young
- American Muslim Futures Virtual Exhibition
- American Muslim Futures Educational Resources
- Muslim Advocates, Shangri La Museum, Kennedy Center Host American Muslim Futures Digital Concert
Muslim Advocates is a national civil rights organization working in the courts, in the halls of power and in communities to halt bigotry in its tracks. We ensure that American Muslims have a seat at the table with expert representation so that all Americans may live free from hate and discrimination.
Shangri La Museum of Islamic Art, Culture & Design enriches the understanding of the art and design of the Islamic cultures in new and inspiring ways through exhibitions, digital and educational initiatives, public programs and guided tours, and community partnerships. Shangri La is a program of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation through the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.