On November 2nd, AOK hosted the opening of the AMIRA. exhibition at Independent Sector. The opening was Nabil Abdulkadir’s first solo show and the event was sold out! It included a selection of beautiful black and white portraits of Nabil’s mother and aunt, and a screening of his film AMIRA., which documents his mother’s story. The photography and film were both influenced by Nabil’s love for music and storytelling, as exemplified through his artist statement:

“AMIRA. is an ongoing multimedia storytelling project by Nabil Abdulkadir, including large scale portraiture and video installation. I started this project with the simple idea of telling the story of my mom’s journey to the US. I knew of some of the things she went through, but learning a lot of the details of her trauma and overcomings really made me realize how grateful I was for her. My creative approach began with music, especially exploring the theme of motherhood in hip-hop, neo soul, and R&B music. I began to look at which of those songs had music videos or performances and I took note of my favorite visuals. I was inspired by certain scenes for the creation of of my own visuals, which influenced the creative direction of the project. The portraiture is black and white, utilizing contrast and texture to evoke feelings of nostalgia, home, and sacrifice.”

The event was our first sold out show and brought together people from across the AOK community. Family and friends gathered to discuss the work and view the film for the first time, with a special Q&A session with Nabil about his work. The show will be up for the next couple of months, so be sure to stop by 1602 L St. to check out the photographs from the show.