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As the Veil Turns: Habibah Print - Limited Edition of 50

Nsenga Knight

United States

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About The Artwork

As the Veil Turns is a photography, video and oral history series about Black women who converted to Islam prior to 1975 and founded many of America's oldest still-existing Muslim communities. I photographed and interviewed the women in my mosque community to capture their stories and share their experiences from their own voices and perspectives. I was inspired to create As the Veil Turns after an important elder in my Brooklyn mosque community died. On the way to her funeral, I packed into a car with some of her closest friends. Upon learning that I was an artist and filmmaker, their urged me to collect and preserve their stories knowing that their entire generation would soon pass on. 1975 was a critical time in the Black community because this marked the largest religious conversion in America when Elijah Muhammad died and his millions of followers collectively converted to Sunni Islam. The women who had identified as Muslims prior to this time came from a variety of religious expressions and they each shifted in their spiritual expression, visual expression, and sometimes even changed their names to outwardly claim their identities as Muslims during a time in America when very few people had even learned about Islam. I chose to photograph my subjects in 35mm Black and White film to preserve the association of their representation with the notion of historical preservation. Each woman sits in a meditative or worshipful position associated with Islamic rituals of dhikr or salat. Each As the Veil Turns limited edition photograph print is signed by the artist and numbered.

Details & Dimensions

Print:Giclee on Canvas

Size:12 W x 16 H x 1.25 D in

Size with Frame:13.75 W x 17.75 H x 1.25 D in

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Delivery Time:Typically 5-7 business days for domestic shipments, 10-14 business days for international shipments.

My paintings, drawings, prints, and collaborative social practice projects reference Islamic ritual and cosmology, Black history archives, and personal memoirs. My creative process is grounded in research and experimentation within abstract, documentary and conceptual art traditions. I was born in Brooklyn, NY to parents who immigrated to the US from the Caribbean and South America in the 1970’s as teenagers and converted from Christianity to Islam as young adults, raising me within their new faith and country. Their fluid and willful transitions between place, philosophies, and histories has developed my understanding of the visual world – its nuances and boundaries, and the need to resist, reevaluate, and push beyond its limits. Through the experience of looking at/ participating in my artwork, I am inviting my audiences to embrace new possibilities that challenge traditional boundaries of race, nationhood, and religion; and create wholly new constructions that broaden our collective imaginations. Nsenga Knight was born in 1981 in Brooklyn, New York. She currently lives and works in Cairo, Egypt and New York. Knight has been awarded with a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, a Foundation for Contemporary Arts grant, a Southern Constellations Fellowship, the Leeway Foundation Art and Change Grant, and Brooklyn Arts Council grants. She has held artist residencies at BRICworkspace in Brooklyn, NY, the Drawing Center in New York, Elsewhere Museum in Greensboro, North Carolina, the Galveston Artist Residency in Galveston, Texas, Brandywine Workshop in Philadelphia, Film/Video Arts Center in New York, and was a BCAT/ Rotunda Gallery Multimedia Artist in Resident in Brooklyn, NY.

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