As part of Hayy Arts’ programming for group exhibition ‘Silent Hands’, a screening of participating artist Anhar Salem’s video “Mashallah. Why Did You Cross The Indian Ocean?” (2023) will be held at  Hayy Cinema followed by a Q&A with the artist.

Mashallah. Why Did You Cross The Indian Ocean? features interviews with two pairs of Indo-Hadhrami mothers and daughters living in Jeddah.The women routinely gather in Salem’s mother’s living room – a site of informal commerce through which women from the artist’s community would buy and sell various ethnic goods, crafts and food. These conversations unravel in a playful manner wherein the women share a meal and recount their experiences of migrating to Jeddah – navigating a new culture and supporting the economic, emotional, and physical wellbeing of their families, while implementing and preserving their matrilineal values and traditions.

About the artist:

Anhar Salem was born in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 1993. She studied IT at Arab Open University and at Le Fresnoy Studio in France. As an autodidact video artist, her work attempts to explore, document, and open new public and private spaces associated with themes such as everyday life, the body, and social media. Using her camera phone, and often working collaboratively with her subjects/characters, she improvises with new forms of communication that critique video as a medium and explore processes around the marginalisation of people and their images.