Wayn Ahla: Where Better by Hannah Shaban

Wayn Ahla: Where Better by Hannah Shaban


Ceramic, glaze, luster

About the Work from the Artist:

Gilded with the question wayn ahla (where better), the rocks ask members of the Arab diaspora a question commonly heard during visits back to Middle East. "What country do you like more, America or Lebanon?" Shaban recalls the ease in which she could answer that question during childhood visits to Lebanon.

America was the seemingly obvious choice with its green grass, clean water, and steady electricity. However in this political climate, travel bans and threats of walls at the border divides the diaspora from their culture, making the answer to the golden question decidedly harder to answer. Molded into the shape of a traditional doorway, Shaban highlights the ever-increasing geopolitical divide between America and the Middle East that is only widening under this administration.

This piece may be purchased under the District Clay Gallery Collectors Program.

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Hannah Shaban is a first generation Lebanese American born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. She received her BFA from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is currently a MFA candidate at Virginia Commonwealth University. The ever-evolving Western perspective of the Middle East and North Africa inspires ceramic sculptor, Hannah Shaban's realistic figures and installations. Using elements of Orientalist art layered with memories of her Arab subjects and the signature hospitality she experiences in the region, she attempts to break misrepresentations surrounding her culture and its people.

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