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Halal - 1

Ceramics and Light 2019

I created a plate series from the clay I dug and hand processed from Chautauqua, New York, land of the Seneca Nation. There is nothing more existent, more indigenous than this particular process, yet it compelled me to question.  Who am I to touch this earth -- American land -- Seneca Land?  Who am I to shape it to my own will? Is this Halal, “permissible,” as defined by Shari’ah?  Do I have the liberty to be here, to use these resources?  Although “halal” is usually relegated to food in the West, the actual translation carries a deeper cultural and ideological significance as guiding principles of behavior.  

 This work was a response to Trump’s comments in 2019 to four United States Congresswomen to “…go back…” to the countries they came from.  This searing sentiment of exclusion and displacement is felt by Americans of color and immigrants. 

When will we belong? 

Halal, Ceramics, Light, Installation, Raheleh Filsoofi
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