Wed 2/7 @ 6:30-8:30PM
Artist Mahwish Chishty, who currently teaches at Kent State, fuels her mixed media work with references to traditional Pakistani culture as well as the politics of Pakistan’s relationship with the United States. A visit to the country of her ancestry in 2011 aroused her interest in the use of drones in warfare in this country which abuts Afghanistan (and is where Osama bin Laden fled to and was eventually killed). Her artist statement says she “creates site-specific installations that interact with the surroundings while challenging the dark vocabulary associated with this war,” one of which, Naming the Dead, is currently on view at SPACES as its SWAP project.
“More than 400 drone strikes have hit the tribal regions of north west Pakistan since 2004,” she says. “Naming the Dead is a collaborative effort to create connection between U.S. citizens and Pakistani civilians killed in these drone strikes. My current list contains 354 names including two females and several children, commonly described as ‘collateral damage’ by the military.”
Meanwhile, northeast Ohio-based playwright George Brant’s 2012 play, Grounded, about a fighter pilot whose pregnancy sidelines her to operating drones in a windowless trailer thousands of miles from where they are striking, is onstage at Dobama Theatre through Sun 2/11. (He also wrote Marie and Rosetta, currently at the Cleveland Play House).
The fortuitous timing of these projects gives Chishty and Brant the chance to come together for an evening of discussion at SPACES. The event is free and open to all. Registration is encouraged.