by Sundus Abdul Hadi
Take care of yourself. How many times a week do we hear or say these words? If we all took the time to care for ourselves, how much stronger will we be? More importantly how much stronger will our communities be?
In Take Care of Your Self, Iraqi artist and curator Sundus Abdul Hadi turns a critical and inventive eye on the notion of self-care, rejecting the idea that self-care means buying stuff and recasting it as a collective practice rooted in the liberation struggles of the oppressed. Throughout, Abdul Hadi explores the role of art in fostering healing for those affected by racism, war, and displacement, weaving in the artwork of twenty-seven artists of color from diverse backgrounds to identify the points where these struggles intersect. In centering the voices of those often relegated to the margins of the art world and emphasizing the imperative to create safe spaces for artists of color to explore their complicated reactions to oppression, Abdul Hadi casts self-care as a political act rooted in the impulse toward self-determination, empowerment, and healing that animates the work of artists of color across the world.
"Take Care of Your Self is a beautifully written tapestry that has woven together the histories, trauma, joys, art, and experiences of people who have not been allowed the space to heal, not given the permission to care, and have been divorced from their/our ancestral modes of communal love. Abdul Hadi's compassionate writing and art gives us the language and tools rooted in our own tradition to demand better for ourselves and our communities. This book is a must-read to begin the journey of decolonial healing and essential to imagining a world rooted in care, not capitalism!" --Hoda Katebi, author of Tehran Streetstyle and founder of #becauseweveread
"This book is just the companion we need during this isolating time, when we are collectively fighting for justice. Abdul Hadi guides us to care and shares the healing practices of other artist guides. A beautiful light." --Randa Jarrar, author of Love is an Ex-Country
About the Author:
Sundus Abdul Hadi is an Iraqi-Canadian multimedia artist. Born in the UAE, she was raised and educated in Montreal. Her work critically engages current crises in the Middle East through subversive and sensitive reflection, using manipulated photographic imagery, mixed-media painting, artist books and sound. She is the cofounder of The Medium, a global multi-disciplinary artist collective. She exhibits and lectures internationally and hosts "The Groundbreakers," a weekly radio show about art and culture on CKUT 90.3 fm in Montreal.