Throughout my life in Canada, I have become more conscious of depictions of Arab culture and Islam in the media and the way it mobilizes racism and xenophobia in the Western world. Xenophobia and white supremacy has been perpetuated historically through Hollywood films; this recognizable and easily accessed form of media has informed the Western world’s view of marginalized communities. Hollywood has created fictional narratives of these communities and their cultures. In the case of Muslim-Arabs, Hollywood often showcases Arabs as a violent, barbaric, oppressive, and uneducated group of people.
I am inspired by Legacy Russell’s “Glitch Feminism: A Manifesto.” Russell references the piece NOPE (a manifesto) by artist E. Jane in which they demand safe spaces for Queer-Black bodies, stating that Queer-Black folks are not grappling with their existence, instead are demanding safety and safe spaces where they can hide, be loved, and feel safe while being as expansive as they want to be.In my current work, I clip scenes from Hollywood movies that depict Muslim-Arabs in a racist manner and use audio and visual editing to disrupt and refuse them. To do this, I use basic video editing methods as well as datamoshing, a process of manipulating the data of media files to achieve visual or auditory effects when the file is decoded. The titles are used to carry humour and sarcasm to further critic these depictions in Hollywood.
* Warning: Videos contain loud audio.
Teba is an Iraqi-Canadian multidisciplinary artist who grew up between her birthplace of Iraq and the United Arab Emirates, where her family resided for work. In 2013 she immigrated to Canada with her family, later receiving her citizenship in 2019. Her current body of work has been greatly influenced by my firsthand experiences with diaspora and the misrepresentation of Arab cultures and Islam in the media.Teba is currently based in Hamilton, ON where she is pursuing a Bachelor’s in the Studio Arts program with a minor in Political Science at McMaster University.