What Does Art History Have to Say About a Lebanese Sasquatch? The Body of Decolonial Struggle in Amanda Boulos’s Art
This paper focuses on several works by the Palestinian-Canadian painter Amanda Boulos that communicate the shared desire of both Palestinians in the diaspora and Indigenous peoples of Canada to move beyond the normative identities of settler colonialism. Through co-ordinated social historical, formalist and iconographical readings of Boulos’s work, I propose a shift in the discourse on global contemporary art, from postcolonial figures of the oriental, the subaltern and the hybrid to strategies of representation such as transformation, ambiguity and queering – a shift intended to foster alliances amongst members of BIPOC communities, against the divisive politics of settler colonialism in Palestine, Canada and elsewhere. To this end, the artworks are set in two interrelated contexts: one art historical and one more strictly political. Boulos’s work is read in relation to that of contemporary artists dealing with postcolonial conflict zones, and Modern and contemporary Palestinian artists both in Palestine and its diaspora. Relevant political contexts for her work include Palestinian LGBTQ activism after the Second Intifada and the 2014 Israeli War on Gaza called Operation Protective Edge.
ARTMargins Online, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp. 58-68.
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