FarBar: Amira Hanafi
The Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry invites you to our inaugural FarBar program with artist Amira Hanafi. From now until October 28, Hanafi welcomes participants to join in a crowd translation of The English Unity Act. Participants can offer their own translations in whatever language(s) they prefer via a Google doc that the artist has set up. On October 28, the artist will host a forum over Zoom to discuss the project and encourage further live translating. A link to the Zoom event will be posted on the Gray Center's Home Page.
Registering in advance for the October 28 forum is recommended. Click here for the sign-up form. Registration is limited to 75 people. Registrants will have priority access and receive the Zoom link via email.
More from Hanafi about the English Language Unity Act:
The English Language Unity Act proposes to declare an official language for the United States. It stipulates that “all citizens should be able to read and understand generally the English language,” and proposes to establish English language testing as part of the naturalization process.
The bill was introduced to the House of Representatives by Steve King (Iowa) in 2005, 2007, 2011, 2017, and, most recently, in 2019. It is similar to an earlier piece of proposed legislation, the Bill Emerson English Language Empowerment Act, which was first introduced in 1996 and passed the House in 1999. It has never become law.
About Amira Hanafi:
Amira Hanafi grew up speaking English, reading the Qur’an in Arabic, and getting cursed at bil masri. She is a poet, artist, and researcher, and the author of two books, several works of electronic literature, and a lot of short texts. She’s currently working with City of Asylum/Detroit, an organization that provides sanctuary residencies for threatened writers and artists in Hamtramck, Michigan, a city where over thirty languages are spoken. Amira holds US and Egypt passports and has made her home in both countries. Learn more about her work.
Conceived as a way to maintain the ethos of our regular Sidebar series for the pandemic moment, FarBar is a vehicle for artistic and scholarly dialogue with practitioners from around the world. Throughout 2020-2021, our planned conversations with artists in Puerto Rico, Haiti, South Africa, Vietnam, Lebanon, the Philippines, and Chicago will revolve around translation, indigeneity, ecological and economic collapse, logics of extraction, crisis, and memory and the archive. Being online for the year will also enable the Gray Center to reach audiences well beyond our Chicago geography, so please invite your far-flung friends.