The Shadow of ISIS

The recent ISIS attacks on Paris, Lebanon, and other cities/countries have created a media frenzy that I’m sure you’ve been following on Facebook and television. From people debating on whether America should accept refugees, to the photo filters and fearful posts, ISIS’s impact is spreading all over the world and you can’t escape it. But while we are bombarded with media coverage of the terror, people overseas are bombarded with the terror itself. So when I saw a poster for an on-campus art exhibit called “The Shadow of ISIS,” I was intrigued and hoped to be further educated on the situation.

This exhibit in the Maslow Gallery opened on Dec. 1 at 6 p.m. The artist was Poshya Kakil Ahmed, who is a Kurdish student currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Interior Architecture. She resides here at Marywood with her husband Shwane (also a student) and their son William.

There were two things that made this exhibit exceed my expectations. The first is the presentation of the art. When I walked into the gallery, every piece was hanging from the ceiling and hovering in front of the wall. The pieces were made on a clear glass/plastic material and the light was positioned so that a shadow was cast on the wall for each one. I immediately got the connection between this and the title of the show, and this attracted me to look further.

The second thing that exceed my expectations was the subject of the art. Poshya had a poster and tv set up informing viewers of ISIS’s terror, specifically targeting women through sex slavery. In areas of Iraq and Syria where ISIS is present, women and girls are captured and sold among Islamic State fighters. The women are sexually abused, which ISIS believes makes a man closer to God. They are forever judged by society, and Poshya created this exhibit to spread awareness and honor the victims.

The series of paintings on the glass/plastic used red and black as the only hues. Poshya painted a variation of a woman’s body on each one, leaving blank space for the light to shine through. On some she wrote a victim’s story inside of the body as well. Overall the exhibit was very powerful, and my eyes were opened to a side of the ISIS situation that doesn’t typically make national news.

The show will be up until Dec. 11, and I highly recommend stopping by the Maslow Gallery to check it out!

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