In Azadaar, Ayamus explores the religion that is most polarised in political and social discourse (Islam) and one of its most inscrutable branches (Shia Islam). The artist depicts rituals which are often incomprehensible to outsiders, namely those of self-mortification. He shuns all stereotypes that exist around these rituals, to show how suffering can be meaningful when trying to rise above the ego. Thu 26 Jan to Sat 4 Feb, 11:00-20:30, KINO Rotterdam, free admission
Although the people filmed for this project were engaged in the ritual carried out for a specific day (Ashura), the themes depicted are universally recognisable. Ayamus aims to arrive at the essence of beauty and nuance that is entirely absent from the depictions of Ashura in the media, politics or society. The Ashura commemorations are a multi-sensory event in which song, body, the experience of space, light, smell and touch come to a climax as part of each another’s dynamic. The participants experience an unconditional sense of wholeness and authenticity. The installation is part of a photography and book project collaboration with Nieuw Dakota, Amsterdam.
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