Journey to the USA 2016


Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Syria the United States of America


To mark the ten year anniversary of the Crossway Foundation’s ‘Journeys’ programmes, we invited ten alumni from previous programmes from Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Syria to travel around the Southwest USA. This project was realised in partnership with Art Jameel. The group travelled through Texas and New Mexico from 13 – 27 October 2016 to collaborate with local arts and social organisations.

 

The journey started in Houston where our jet-lagged group spent the day getting to know each other and their work at FotoFest International. The road trip began in earnest once the group flew to Midland Odessa, rented cars, and made their way to Marfa (272mi; population 1,819), a desert city in far West Texas that became an art hub when minimalist artist Donald Judd moved there in the 1970s. There they visited the JUDD and Chinati Foundations, explored other Marfa institutions such as Ballroom Marfa and Marfa Contemporary and spent an evening in the company of The XX who happened to be in town recording their new album!

 

The group then moved on to El Paso (194mi; population 649,133) via Elmgreen & Dragset‘s iconic land art project, Prada Marfa. In El Paso they had an intensive two-day workshop focusing on border issues with local students at the University of Texas at El Paso facilitated by Ersela Kripa and Stephen Mueller of Agency Architecture. The group were asked to think about what they would pack with them to cross a border (legally or illegally), an idea inspired by 20% of UTEP’s student population that cross the USA / Mexico border to and from Júarez on a daily basis to attend classes.

 

After El Paso, the group spent an afternoon at White Sands National Monument (70mi; population 1,651) before logistics became slightly more complicated… The majority of the group moved on to experience life on a working ranch just outside Magdalena in New Mexico (209mi; population 926) while just five people (all it can host!) each night over the course of three nights, went on to have an immersive stay at Walter de Maria‘s iconic land art work, The Lightning Field (72mi; population 228), in Catron County, New Mexico. No photography, no reception and no WIFI was an unusual state of affairs for our group, who set about documenting their experience in diverse and interesting ways, including illustrations, landscape colour palettes, zines and landscape rubbings.

 

The group then headed to Albuquerque Airport (135mi; population 556,495) for the final leg of their journey, which saw them fly back to Houston rather than brave the 882mi drive. The journey ended back at FotoFest International where the group the group presented their work and impressions of their time in the USA to a number of curators and members of the city’s art scene.

 

Approx. total mileage: 952mi

 

All films from the Journey to the USA are available by clicking here and a selection of photographs is available by clicking here.

 

 


"Artists thrive when introduced to new places and experiences. There's nothing quite like the power of crossing borders - real and imagined - to help identify the commonalities and differences across cultures and stimulate their thinking and creativity.

We can't wait to see how these incredibly talented young artists will learn and grow from their exposure to the unique land art, landscapes and people of this great region of the United States."

Imogen Ware, Managing Director, Crossway Foundation

Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Syria the United States of America



To mark the ten year anniversary of the Crossway Foundation’s ‘Journeys’ programmes, we invited ten alumni from previous programmes from Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Syria to travel around the Southwest USA. This project was realised in partnership with Art Jameel. The group travelled through Texas and New Mexico from 13 – 27 October 2016 to collaborate with local arts and social organisations.

 

The journey started in Houston where our jet-lagged group spent the day getting to know each other and their work at FotoFest International. The road trip began in earnest once the group flew to Midland Odessa, rented cars, and made their way to Marfa (272mi; population 1,819), a desert city in far West Texas that became an art hub when minimalist artist Donald Judd moved there in the 1970s. There they visited the JUDD and Chinati Foundations, explored other Marfa institutions such as Ballroom Marfa and Marfa Contemporary and spent an evening in the company of The XX who happened to be in town recording their new album!

 

The group then moved on to El Paso (194mi; population 649,133) via Elmgreen & Dragset‘s iconic land art project, Prada Marfa. In El Paso they had an intensive two-day workshop focusing on border issues with local students at the University of Texas at El Paso facilitated by Ersela Kripa and Stephen Mueller of Agency Architecture. The group were asked to think about what they would pack with them to cross a border (legally or illegally), an idea inspired by 20% of UTEP’s student population that cross the USA / Mexico border to and from Júarez on a daily basis to attend classes.

 

After El Paso, the group spent an afternoon at White Sands National Monument (70mi; population 1,651) before logistics became slightly more complicated… The majority of the group moved on to experience life on a working ranch just outside Magdalena in New Mexico (209mi; population 926) while just five people (all it can host!) each night over the course of three nights, went on to have an immersive stay at Walter de Maria‘s iconic land art work, The Lightning Field (72mi; population 228), in Catron County, New Mexico. No photography, no reception and no WIFI was an unusual state of affairs for our group, who set about documenting their experience in diverse and interesting ways, including illustrations, landscape colour palettes, zines and landscape rubbings.

 

The group then headed to Albuquerque Airport (135mi; population 556,495) for the final leg of their journey, which saw them fly back to Houston rather than brave the 882mi drive. The journey ended back at FotoFest International where the group the group presented their work and impressions of their time in the USA to a number of curators and members of the city’s art scene.

 

Approx. total mileage: 952mi

 

All films from the Journey to the USA are available by clicking here and a selection of photographs is available by clicking here.

 

 

"Artists thrive when introduced to new places and experiences. There's nothing quite like the power of crossing borders - real and imagined - to help identify the commonalities and differences across cultures and stimulate their thinking and creativity.

We can't wait to see how these incredibly talented young artists will learn and grow from their exposure to the unique land art, landscapes and people of this great region of the United States."

Imogen Ware, Managing Director, Crossway Foundation


The Team

Ahaad Al-Amoudi

Alizeb Raees

Basmah Felemban

Majid Angawi

Marouan Omara

Mohammed Al Kindi

Najd Al Taher

Nasser Alzayani

Tulip Hazbar

Tyma Hezam

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