Laimah Osman is a queer Afghan American visual artist, educator, and graphic designer. She makes multidisciplinary art that celebrates her cultural heritage and experiences. Osman’s family left Afghanistan for the U.S. when the Soviet Union invaded in 1979. Since then, she connects to her Afghan culture through her family, community, and the media. Particularly after 9/11, Afghan and Muslim people are singularly portrayed in the media in connection to violence and war. Osman wants to present the richness and diversity of her Central Asian culture and hopes to challenge the one-dimensional representation of Afghan and Muslim people that fuels today’s atmosphere of racism and xenophobia.
Osman’s visual work is based in the research, study, and practice of various printmaking and book arts processes. The origins of these different techniques are tied to global histories of communication and offer limitless possibilities for storytelling and socially engaged work. She is drawn to the nuances and possibilities for chance, repetition, multiplicity, improvisation and collaboration in generating work, as well as the materiality as a counter to the digital age.
While at Camargo, Osman plans to explore ideas around migration, safety and security in dialogue with others who are considering and expressing similar global concerns. She will travel to Marseille to see how this large modern “port city” is shaped by its immigrants. She also plans to experiment with different folds and bookbinding methods to make structural decisions and prototypes for the artists’ books.
Laimah Osman is in residence at Camargo from June 15 to July 13, 2020, in partnership with Jerome Foundation.