Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art

Discussion: In response to Abounaddara — Let’s Talk: Syrian Refugees, Islamaphobia and Canadian Identity – Post-Harper

Saturday, December 5, 2015
2 to 4 PM
at Centre A
Free admission
Facebook event page

Centre A invites Refugee Advocate and Writer Zool Suleman to host a discussion in response to the works of an anonymous collective of volunteer, self-taught artists, Abounaddara. Their weekly short films offer a glimpse of the lives of ordinary Syrians without restricting them to political or religious affiliations, focusing rather, on the details of daily life. While employing the aesthetics of cinema in an open-ended DIY spirit, Abounaddara provides an alternative to the customarily extremely violent representation of the Syrian condition.

This Saturday afternoon discussion will be an opportunity where individuals gain insight on an important political art project that plays on anonymity and dis-identification to construct a space of resistance; and to relate that back to current aspects of the Canadian cultural and political climate.

Online Exhibition: Abounaddara. Right to the Image.

About Zool Suleman
Zool Suleman is a Refugee Advocate and Writer who has been involved at the nexus of law/culture/production for many years. In addition to being a lawyer, he published and edited Rungh, A South Asian Journal of Culture Comment and Criticism from 1990-1997. He has also been on the board of directors of a variety of arts groups including the Vancouver Folk Music Festival, the Vancouver East Cultural Centre, and the Pacific Music Industry Association. He has advised the provincial government on arts policy and he has been on consultative committees or juries for Heritage Canada, the Canada Arts Council, and the City of Vancouver.  Since 2005, he has either Chaired, Co-Chaired or been a member of the City of Vancouver Mayor’s Working Group on Immigration. Currently he is involved with The Adhan Project, a multi – year, multi – disciplinary project exploring the intersection between the call to prayer in Islam (the Adhan), urban soundscapes, law, and the theories of immigrant belonging, portions of which will be hosted by or done in collaboration with Centre A.

Along with Zool Suleman, a panel of other speakers will also engage with the Abounaddara project from different perspectives.

Rahat Kurd is the author of COSMOPHILIA, a collection of poems which has just been published this fall by Talonbooks. She was a finalist for the 2014 Gwendolyn MacEwen Poetry Prize and named Emerging Artist in the Literary Arts category of the 2013 Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Awards. Her articles and essays have appeared most recently in Guernica, The Walrus, Maisonneuve, and other magazines and newspapers. She is now at work on a memoir about the making of Muslim culture in North America.

Alnoor Gova, PhD, is a scholar, researcher, community activist and radio host. His research focuses on the present Canadian political scene, largely in the areas of Citizenship, Multiculturalism, Immigration, National Security and Law; and specifically focuses on responses and interpretations to anti-Muslim racism and Islamophobia. He is a Co-founder of the Siraat Collective and has worked with a variety of organizations including the Asian Heritage Month Festivals in Metro Toronto and Vancouver. He also serves on the Boards of Neworld Theatre, Nahid Siqququi Dance Company and Asita Infomatica.

Majd Agha, one of the first Syrian Refugees to arrive in Vancouver.


Centre A gratefully acknowledges the generous support of our media sponsor, the Vancouver Observer.




“Zool Suleman hosts, ‘Let’s talk: Syrian Refugees, Islamophobia and Canadian Identity’ at Centre A”, Vancouver Observer, November 30, 2015