This publication documents In the Heart of Another Country: The Diasporic Imagination Rises, an exhibition organised by Sharjah Art Foundation and Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, curated by Omar Kholeif. Drawing from the Foundation’s extensive collection, the presentation featured more than 60 artists and 150 artworks spanning from 1935 to the present. The exhibition and works bring together trails from Colombo to London, from Cairo to Zanzibar through to the foothills of Mount Tamalpaïs in California, highlighting Sharjah as a space for encounter and exchange between artists and intellectuals. The display focused on works from Arab artists practicing regionally and in the diaspora as well as their concept of home, longing and belonging.
The catalogue reflects the exhibition’s various segments on abstract bodies in the city and in architecture, in addition to parts on reclaiming fractured identity through experimental portraiture. Each exhibiting artist and their works are explored in text and image; there is also an interview with Bani Abidi, Lubaina Himid and Hrair Sarkissian by Sofia Victorino. The publication includes forewords by Dirk Luckow and Hoor Al Qasimi on the significance of this institutional collaboration alongside Kholeif’s curatorial and editorial essay and an afterword by Nawar Al Qassimi on the critical role of Sharjah as a cultural hub.