'We Extend Ourselves Towards Each Other's Aliveness'

Farzana Khan was artist in residence at the Bethnal Green Nature Reserve during 2022, and part of, ‘We Speak In Tongues About The Thing(s) We Love’ programme curated by Adelaide Bannerman for the Bethnal Green Nature Reserve.

Billboard exhibition dates: 1st February till 31st May 2023

The billboard quote originates from writing Farzana made and shared during her residency, which explored, what grief, loss, and trauma is, and how the process of healing can lead to understanding ’aliveness’ – the state of being alive. What does that mean to us as individuals and communities? Aliveness is more than being physically present, it’s a generative approach and feeling that pulsates, and reaches deeply, amongst beings. We Extend Ourselves Towards Each Other's Aliveness, invites us to consider what it means to access and offer each other life during times of multiple and cascading losses of many kinds. How do we commit to our own and each other’s aliveness whilst honouring grief, practices of liberation and survival? In conversation with Farzana, artist Sarah Al-Sarraj visually interpreted the quote, into a painting which responds to Farzana’s Curanderismo - a Latin-American folk practice rooted in plant-based traditional medicine and healing. The plant Marigold, also known as Calendula, adorns the image. Marigold is often used in healing wounds and guiding in new life. Its petals and the entire flower are used in spiritual offerings across different cultural and spiritual traditions, including Farzana’s South Asian heritage that she draws from. Marigold is used for integration, crossing thresholds (Barzakh), celebrating union and weddings, protecting, encouraging creativity, joy and warmth into our homes - our bodies and our physical dwellings. Across different traditions Marigold is used to honour the dead, ancestral worship and support the transition into new stages in life. Marigold invites the energies of life, love, and vitality, helping us feel and access our aliveness with the reality of loss, endings, and completion. Farzana uplifts and signposts the deep impact and interface of Xicanisma feminist practice, Anzaldúa, Aurora Levins Morals & Kevin Quashie in her writing and practice.

#RehearsingFreedoms Translation by Rittika Dasgupta. Connect with Farzana: Twitter @khankfarza IG: Farzana.K.khan Web: www.healingjusticeldn.org Supported by Arts Council England & Bethnal Green Nature Reserve Trust.

©2024 Bethnal Green Nature Reserve Trust