The Willing (2022–2023)

Helina Metaferia
Selected works from ‘By Way of Revolution’ 2019–2023
Multimedia installation Dimensions variable
Produced by Sharjah Art Foundation
Courtesy of the artist


Challenging the Eurocentrism of art, amplifying the labour of BIPOC women activists and evaluating notions of citizenship, Helina Metaferia seeks to elucidate the contradictions at the core of American identity. The film The Call (2019) documents video performances by the descendants of celebrated American civil rights leaders. In the performance of The Willing (2022–2023) staged in Sharjah, Metaferia, alongside singers ArinMaya and Abby Dobson, shares a rendition of Dobson’s song ‘Her Memory is My Memory’ alongside historical fiction stories of Black feminists who defy racial oppression and patriarchy in the United States. Wearing tapestries that echo the African American tradition of quilting and activating collages and sculptures such as Crown (Sheba) (2023), the trio circulate a handmade brass crown inscribed with archival etchings as the narratives unfold.