“Take care of yourself. How many times a week do we hear or say these words? If we all took the time to care for ourselves, how much stronger would we be? More importantly, how much stronger would our communities be?”
In Take Care of Your Self, Sundus Abdul Hadi turns a critical and inventive eye to the notion of care and how it relates to social justice. In contrast to the billion-dollar industry of self-care, Abdul Hadi identifies care as a necessary practice—rooted in self, community, and the world—in the collective process of decolonization, empowerment, and liberation.
Abdul Hadi explores the role of art in building regenerative narratives to confront and undo systemic oppression and trauma. Weaving in the work of visionary transcultural artists who engage the liberatory intersections of struggle and care, Abdul Hadi centers the voices of those most-often relegated to the margins and emphasizes the importance of creating brave spaces for their stories and art. The transformative power of care exists in these spaces, building a foundation for a world in desperate need of healing and change.
Author: Sundus Abdul Hadi
Publisher: Common Notions
Published: November 2020
Page Count: 144
“Take Care of Your Self turns upside down and inside out the meanings of self-care, illuminating for us decolonial futures through our collective healing. Sundus Abdul Hadi invites us into the most intimate valleys of her own healing journey—taking us gently by the hand to show us the visionary work of artists while rooting us in the fertile soils nurtured by Black, Indigenous, anticolonial, and feminist thinkers—and pointing to the revolutionary potential of transnationalism. Take Care of Your Self left me elated, floating a bit with the buoyancy that hope offers.”—Noura Erakat, author of Justice for Some: Law and the Question of Palestine
About the author:
Sundus Abdul Hadi is an Iraqi-Canadian multimedia artist and writer. Born in the United Arab Emirates, she was raised and educated in Montreal, where she earned a BFA in Studio Arts and Art History and a Masters in Media Studies. Her work critically engages the concepts of care, community and struggle. Her artistic practice is a subversive and sensitive reflection on war, trauma and representation, using manipulated photographic imagery, mixed-media painting, artist books and sound. She is the author-illustrator of Shams, an illustrated book about trauma, transformation and healing (We are the Medium, 2020). Complimenting her studio practice, Abdul Hadi curates exhibitions as artist-curator, most recently with the research-creation exhibit project featured in her book of the same name, Take Care of Your Self. She is the co-founder of We Are The Medium, a global multidisciplinary artist collective, publishing house, and cultural hub.
Her work has been exhibited in Palestine, UAE, Canada, USA, France, New Zealand and the UK. She has given workshops in Australia, Iraq and Kuwait, and has been a speaker at Nuqat, the Nobel Peace Prize Forum, the Aga Khan Museum (Toronto), Telfair Museum (Savannah GA), NYU New York, and multiple universities in Canada and the US. Abdul Hadi is a two time recipient of the Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Quebec (CALQ) Vivacite grant, and received the Makers Muse award from Kindle Project (2018).
Her work is part of the Barjeel Art Foundation collection.