Jala Wahid’s “AFTERMATH”
              Adeola Gay
              Delicate sheets of paper are scattered over the floor of Jala Wahid’s exhibition at Niru Ratnam Gallery. The pieces are reminiscent of leftover protest flyers and posters, giving the sense that a demonstration has taken place. The Kurdish-British artist’s exhibition continues her interest in exploring materiality, investigating the symbolic elements of archival objects. Wahid’s latest series of works is heavily informed by her research at the Kurdish Cultural Centre and the UK National Archive in London. The two archives focus on contrasting aspects of Kurdish history, with the former dedicated to the lived experiences of the Kurdish community, and the latter serving as a public record, listing details of treaties, conflicts, and political policies. “Aftermath” is a collection of seven compelling objects and texts, with two sculptures hung on the wall, two sculptures placed on a long base, two text pieces displayed on plinths, and the paper cut-outs spread across the gallery floor. The exhibition prompts questions including: Who is allowed to narrate history? How does one document that history? And, most importantly, how are cultural identities formed? As with much of Wahid’s work, these recent pieces embody a sense of memory. The artist captures moments of conflict and …

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