I heart New Palestine, OH

Chalk spray paint

Using the iconic language of love, the heart, and specifically confusing the tourism campaign for New York with a love for New Palestine, OH, this outdoor stencil graffiti piece engages the rhetoric of USAID propaganda, Arabizing the slogan “A Gift From the American People,” to instead offer up this aesthetic vandalism and Arabic text for speculation and communication within a diverse residential community of Chicago’s. What does tourism to New Palestine, OH look like or even mean? Where is New Palestine, OH? What is it?

This Text-based and public intervention presented as a part of The Terrain Biennial / Chicago


Xerox Printing (Work in progress)

This zine functions as an aesthetic collection and connection between a fictional interview with Betha Young, the Miss New Mexico beauty pageant queen of 1948 and scanned images and objects from my recent journey to New Palestine, OH. This convergence of poetic surveillance of New Palestine’s geography as my “new home” serves as link to Miss New Mexico’s memories of that historic era and her story of rightful return to glory. In my interview with Miss New Mexico 1948, I ask her about her specific memories of home and how it felt to have her crown rightfully bestowed at the age of 90. In this zine I share my empathy and humor with her story and the return of her crown, never given to her due to post-war depression and lack of resources to make her crown.

Reading New Palestine, IN/OH 

Lecture Performance (10min) 

Reading the article “New Palestine” by Nadim Rouhana in Arabic on an unraveling and unwieldy scroll, I posit the idea of having a “New” Palestine, in the U.S. requiring a translation of my home country to a new context. At this 100th anniversary event of the Belford Accord I refuse the role of translator, refusing to translate the untranslatable aspects of the Palestinian context. This inaccessible work rests on the aesthetics and performance of Arabic and the official rhetoric of renown Palestinian scholar Rouhana and his understanding of the history of Palestine and its future. His analytical and political staging of optimism. Belonging to a generation of the 1st and 2nd Intifada my performance mutes this optimism while challenging a U.S. audience to listen to an Arab voice and language, while seeing our script in unfetishistic terms. 

Documentation of lecture performance, presented for the event 100 Years Since Balfour Accord on Nov 02, 2017 at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Using Format