Leila Abdelrazaq

Still Born, 2018
Single Channel digital animation, 04’02”

Using excerpts from my mother’s 2002 essay, “How To Be the Mother of a Stillborn Baby”, Still Born merges the comic form with animation in order to bring parallel realities and storylines into focus. The family’s personal tragedy is positioned within the wider context of life in the Palestinian diaspora to ask questions about loss, survival, collective memory and identity formation, of hope beyond hope, and the seemingly impossible challenge of letting go. What remains is a question: If one day, all our false nostalgias and imaginaries get up and walk away, is that a kind of liberation? What futures would we be free to imagine without the weight of all our ‘what ifs’ bearing down on our consciousness?


Leila Abdelrazaq is a Detroit-based graphic novelist who was raised between Chicago and Seoul. Leila received her BFA in Theatre Arts and her BA in Arabic Studies from DePaul University in Chicago in 2015, and is currently pursuing her MA in Contemporary Middle Eastern and North African Studies at the University of Michigan. She is the author and illustrator of Baddawi (Just World Books 2015), which was shortlisted for the 2015 Palestine Book Awards and has been translated into three languages. She is also the author of The Opening (Tosh Fesh 2017), which was awarded a Tosh Fesh grant, as well as a number of zines and short comics. Her most recent solo exhibition Drawing in the Diaspora was held at the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn in 2016. Her work has also been displayed in a number of group exhibitions in New York, London, Montreal and Beirut.

© Photo: Courtesy of A.M. Qattan Foundation

Young Artist of the Year Award 2018

A.M. Qattan Foundation's program to support Palestinian artists. Exhibition of the awardees and shortlisted artists. 6 Nov. - 27 Dec. 2018, AMQF Cultural Centre, Ramallah.

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