Exhibit | March 2, 2020

Palestinian Artist Tells Story of Resistance through Paper Stones

Courtesy of the Minnesota Center for Book Arts

Minneapolis, MN — Leila Abdelrazaq, a Palestinian author and artist, has created an installation featuring hand-drawn images of Palestinians and paper stones to address a story of power imbalance between Palestinian protestors and the Israeli army, a story which is often discarded and frequently forgotten. Entitled Nothing is set in stone (narrative intifada), the exhibition is on view beginning March 3 in the Outlook Gallery at Minnesota Center for Book Arts.

Born in Chicago and currently living in Detroit, Leila’s creative work primarily explores issues related to diaspora, refugees, history, memory, and borders. Nothing is set in stone (narrative intifada) is a narrative of drawings that examine history as a series of stories that have been either lost or solidified in time through repetition, power, and oppression. The drawings are paired with paper stones created from legal documents, newspaper articles about war, and essays related to Palestine and Palestinian history. In Palestinian iconography, stones are considered sacred because they are tied to the land. They are also used as tools for resisting oppression. When an unarmed Palestinian hurls a stone at a heavily armed Israeli soldier in riot gear, it is a symbolic act of defiance against militarism and colonialism, especially since these stones come from indigenous land.

Leila is co-founder of Maamoul Press, a multi-disciplinary collective for the creation, curation, and dissemination of art by marginalized creators whose work lies at intersections of comics, printmaking, and book arts. Her debut graphic novel, Baddawi (Just World Books publishing) was shortlisted for the 2015 Palestine Book Awards and has been translated into three languages. She is also the author and Illustrator of The Opening (Tosh Fesh, 2017), as well as several zines and short comics.

We invite you to experience the work in person. Exhibitions in the Outlook Gallery can be seen day and night from outside the Open Book building, as well as from inside The Shop at MCBA.

Nothing is set in stone (narrative intifada) is on view March 3–April 26, 2020.