Amitis Motevalli is an artist born in Iran and moved to the US in 1977 pre-revolution. She explores the cultural resistance and survival of people living in poverty, conflict and war. Her experience as a working-class trans-national migrant, is foundational to her drive for creating art that contests popular beliefs about immigrants and diaspora. Through many mediums including, sculpture, video, performance and collaborative public art, her work juxtaposes iconography, to reveal differences in cross-cultural understandings, critical of the violence of dominance and occupation, while invoking the significance of a secular grassroots struggle. She is equally known for her work in Educational Justice, working with youth and communities to gain equal access to civil rights, privacy and pedagogy without profiling. Motevalli is invested in research, collaboration, and the potential of art to expand thought. In the fall of 2014, she was the visionary and oversaw a city wide initiative called LA/Islam Arts Initiative, which brought together multiple institutions, including the Department of Cultural Affairs, the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, CalArts, California Community Foundation with local organizations as well as artists, curators and thinkers.
For her current project, Motevalli is working internationally with a broad spectrum of transnational Muslims in order to research the home, life and labor, to survive in everyday lives, across boundaries of class. She is particularly concerned with conducting workshops with Muslims who come from places of political and religious conflict and collaborating on public art projects. She currently lives and works in Los Angeles, exhibiting art internationally as well as organizing to create an active and resistant cultural discourse through information exchange, either in art, pedagogy or organizing artist and educators.
For more information on Amitis Motevalli's work, click here.
Other artists in the Oxy Arts Speaker Series include:
- September 25: Will Power (Playwright, Performer and Educator)
- November 27: Zackary Drucker (Artist and Producer)
- January 29: The Quetzalcoatl Mural Project (Mural Arts Collective)
- February 26: Justin Chon (Actor and Filmmaker)
This event is free and open to the public.
Choi Auditorium, Occidental College
1600 Campus Rd.
Los Angeles, CA 90041
Click here for directions to Choi Auditorium
To see photos from Amitis' lecture, click here.
The Oxy Arts Speaker Series is made possible by the Arts and Urban Experience Initiative, which is generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.