York profs curate exhibition devoted to prayer, death and commemoration

Memories of Stone: Landscapes of Prayer, Death, and Commemoration is an exhibition of texts, photographs and textile art recalls the historic tombstones, cemeteries and mosques that speak to centuries of shared existence in Bosnia and Herzegovina. These places of prayer, death and commemoration represent the creative and regenerative energy of the country’s rich historical landscape as well as the effects of its dark episodes of violence and conflict. They are the landscapes of loss and hope upon which contemporary Bosnians are writing new narratives of life.

A view of part of the exhibition titled Memories of Stone

Memories of Stone: Landscapes of Prayer, Death and Commemoration opens Friday, Feb. 10 at the Exhibition Hall of The Ismaili Centre Toronto, 49 Wynford Dr, North York. The exhibit runs until April 23, Tuesday to Saturday, from 11am to 4pm. Admission is free.

Curated by York University Professors Zulfikar Hirji and Amila Buturović of the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, in collaboration with textile artist and designer, Professor Azra Akšamija of MIT, and photographer Velibor Božović of Concordia University, the exhibition explores issues of religious identities and the forgotten histories of shared existence and positive cultural exchanges that took place between Muslims and Christians as well as other faith communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina over many centuries — histories that are inscribed onto the region’s landscapes. The exhibition also speaks to how the destruction of culture is used as a weapon in times of conflict and how local actors seek to preserve their community’s material culture for future generations, often at great personal risk and sacrifice.

More about the Ismaili Centres

The Ismaili Centres are symbolic markers of the permanent presence and core values of Shia Ismaili Muslim communities around the world. The Centres reflect the Ismaili community’s intellectual and spiritual understanding of Islam, its social conscience, its forward outlook and its commitment to progress in the societies in which it lives. Incorporating spaces for social and cultural gatherings, intellectual engagement and reflection, as well as spiritual contemplation, the Ismaili Centres are bridges of friendship and understanding that serve to enhance relationships among faith communities, government and civil society. Ismaili Centres are located in Dubai, Dushanbe, Lisbon, London, Toronto, and Vancouver: www.theismaili.org.

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