Samia Halaby Uncanceled Event Takes Center Stage at Buskirk Chumley Theatre Saturday night

Video

Staff report

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — February 18, 2024

In a celebration of art and free expression, the Samia Halaby Uncanceled event took center stage at the Buskirk Chumley Theatre on Saturday night. The event, organized in response to Indiana University’s controversial cancellation of a three-year-in-the-making art show by Palestinian artist Samia Halaby, drew attention worldwide.

The cancellation of Halaby’s exhibit occurred amidst the Israeli invasion of Gaza, a conflict rooted in decades of tension between Israelis and Palestinians dating back to the establishment of the Israeli state in 1948 after the end of British rule. Indiana University’s Eskenazi Museum of Art director cited security concerns in a brief two-sentence email explaining the abrupt cancellation.

The news garnered national attention, with NPR reporting on the incident, shedding light on the university’s decision. The NPR article can be found here.

Despite the controversy, the Samia Halaby Uncanceled event proceeded smoothly in two parts, featuring an array of art and life discussions. The program included a screening of Madison Gordon’s home video, a film by Bill Winters showcasing Halaby’s journey as an 81-year-old Commodore Amiga artist, and an artist talk by Halaby at the Guggenheim Museum.

The second part delved into Halaby’s life, featuring an introduction, a look at the 2019 Palestine Museum US, and a statement from Halaby herself, expressing gratitude to the audience for their attendance.

The event, running from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., was free for those with pre-acquired tickets, though some seats remained empty as some attendees, unaware of the two-part format, left during the intermission.

The Samia Halaby Foundation, which contributes to the United Palestinian Appeal, was highlighted during the event. Additionally, the American Association of University Professors sponsored the event, encouraging attendees to consider membership.

According to information provided by the Palestine Museum, Samia Halaby, displaced from Palestine in 1948, has emerged as a pivotal figure in the art world. Her work, exhibited globally and housed in prestigious institutions, blends Islamic geometry with modern painting, making significant contributions to both Arab and Western art scenes.

Beyond her artistic achievements, Halaby is recognized as an innovative thinker, educator, and activist. Her writings on art history, pedagogy, and aesthetics have left a lasting impact, and she continues to advocate for causes related to class, race, and Palestine.

BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – FEBRUARY 17: Samia Halaby Uncancled event on February 17, 2024 at the Buskirk Chumley Theatre in Bloomington, Indiana. Indiana University abruptly canceled Halaby’s retrospective after the Israel-Palestine War began in October. Halaby has been an outspoken supporter of Palestinians. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – FEBRUARY 17: Samia Halaby Uncancled event on February 17, 2024 at the Buskirk Chumley Theatre in Bloomington, Indiana. Indiana University abruptly canceled Halaby’s retrospective after the Israel-Palestine War began in October. Halaby has been an outspoken supporter of Palestinians. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – FEBRUARY 17: Samia Halaby Uncancled event on February 17, 2024 at the Buskirk Chumley Theatre in Bloomington, Indiana. Indiana University abruptly canceled Halaby’s retrospective after the Israel-Palestine War began in October. Halaby has been an outspoken supporter of Palestinians. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – FEBRUARY 17: Samia Halaby Uncancled event on February 17, 2024 at the Buskirk Chumley Theatre in Bloomington, Indiana. Indiana University abruptly canceled Halaby’s retrospective after the Israel-Palestine War began in October. Halaby has been an outspoken supporter of Palestinians. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – FEBRUARY 17: Samia Halaby Uncancled event on February 17, 2024 at the Buskirk Chumley Theatre in Bloomington, Indiana. Indiana University abruptly canceled Halaby’s retrospective after the Israel-Palestine War began in October. Halaby has been an outspoken supporter of Palestinians. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – FEBRUARY 17: Samia Halaby Uncancled event on February 17, 2024 at the Buskirk Chumley Theatre in Bloomington, Indiana. Indiana University abruptly canceled Halaby’s retrospective after the Israel-Palestine War began in October. Halaby has been an outspoken supporter of Palestinians. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)

Rate this post

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 3.7 / 5. Vote count: 12

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Bloomingtonian on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!