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Critical Race Studies Residency Program welcomes two new artists

Michigan State University’s College of Arts and Letters Critical Race Studies Residency program has brought two artists to campus for the 2018-2019 academic year.  

The goal of the program is to use the medium of art and design to enrich the life of the greater Lansing community by creating opportunities for shared experiences that cultivate diversity and facilitate practices of inclusion.

The Critical Race Studies Residency program, part of the Department of Art, Art History and Design, empowers artistic creativity that drives cultural transformation through shared engagement with creative practice.

This year’s artists are Qais Assali, an artist, designer and educator, and Helina Metaferia, an interdisciplinary artist working in performance, video, installation and collage.

“With interdisciplinary practices that involve research but plumb very different artistic media and aspects of race and experience, Helina Metaferia and Qais Assali complement one another while enriching our department greatly,” said Karin Zitzewitz, interim chair of the Department of Art, Art History and Design. 

As part of their residency, Assali and Metaferia will produce substantial public projects that engage in critical approaches to diversity and inclusion through creative practice. 

They will each mount solo presentations of their work, teach courses in the Department of Art, Art History and Design and participate in outreach to the community throughout the year.

Assali’s  project is called “Doubling Displacement,” where he creates connections between the U.S. Midwest and the Middle East, as well as the past and the present, to question the political future.  

Metaferia will screen her work, “(Middle) Passage for Dreams,” and will work on a new project, titled “By Way of Revolution,” which engages performative actions in sites of protest and the archives of those experiences.

“We are excited to welcome them to our department and support them as they build upon and exhibit their already impressive bodies of work,” Zitzewitz said.

By: Kimberly Popiolek