Umm Al-Raml, Sand Narratives

Umm al Raml’s Sand Narratives is an augmented reality project and a divinatory journey. The fictional persona of Umm al-Raml, the mother of sand, challenges the lack of female prophecy within Islamic literature and addresses divinators’ denunciation within contemporary Iranian society. Umm al Raml will be a fictional persona that appears virtually, and embodies the stories of women who experienced spiritualism.

Shirin Fahimi / Toronto, Canada — Dez 15, 2020

The storyline utilizes the process of Islamic divination, Ilm al-Raml, the science of sand, as a narration method. Temporality in this divination method is not a linear one, but moving between the visible realm of the present, the accessible realm of the future and the invisible past. There are 16 doors in this divination. Each door is identified by a temporality and material significance. Umm al Raml will enter each door and interpret them to answer the question of »Where are the female prophets?« Growing up in Iran and being influenced by Islamic literature, I was always fascinated with the prophet’s stories of who could speak and see the unseen and invisible realm. However, no women in Islamic literature have borne the title of prophecy; they have been excluded from the criteria of being a leader in the spiritual realm. Consequently, women are excluded from having any political presence. This work will be bilingual (English and Farsi). Following the WCAG guidelines, this work will be experienced in a web platform, both as visuals and textual narration and descriptive audio.

Shirin Fahimi

As an Iranian-Canadian artist, Shirin Fahimi explores the impact of the occult sciences and mysticism in empowering the female presence in the political and spiritual domains. Her study is informed by the mysticism literature and magic from Islamic culture in Iranian society. Since 2016, she has developed her practice into a body of works, primarily video installations and performance, presented at critically recognized art institutions such as Savvy Contemporary, Counter Pulse, and The Rubin Museum of Art.

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