What could a post-racial world look like, and how do we get there? In the aftermath of the social unrest that erupted throughout the United States in the summer of 2020 this question was posed by my friend and fellow artist Dea Jenkins. Through the InBreak Residency, Dea invited a group of artists to explore this question together. What We Leave Behind was born out of that journey.
As I entered the residency, I asked myself, what could a Lebanese, Canadian, only son of immigrants who fled civil war, who can pass as white, bring to such a conversation? What We Leave Behind began to form around two main ideas. First, that our present context is a function of the consequences of individual choices that we all have made. Second, that the impact of our choices can be hard to discern which, among other factors, makes change difficult. There is additionally a momentum behind human choice that makes change difficult. Even further, the idea that no one is free from experiencing the consequences of their choices, but we all are able to make different choices starting right now, can be a hard one to hear.
In What We Leave Behind I’ve combined tap dance, physical materials, digital art, and an educational course to bring these ideas to life.