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Azra Aksamija

May 21 - June 4, 2016

Azra Akšamija is an award-winning artist, architectural historian, and associate professor of the arts at MIT's Art, Culture, and Technology Program. Her academic research focuses on the representation of Islam in the West, architecture and conflict in the Balkans since the 1990s, and the agency of cultural memory in societies affected by conflict and crisis. Her recent book, Mosque Manifesto, (Revolver Publishing, 2015) explores ways in which creative forms of Islamic representation may foster better understanding between cultures. Akšamija holds master degrees from the Technical University Graz and Princeton University, and a Ph.D. in History of Islamic Art and Architecture from MIT.  Her work has been shown in leading international venues including Sculpture Center New York, the Royal Academy of Arts London, and the Fondazione Giorgio Cini as a part of the 54th Art Biennale in Venice. She received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2013 for her design of the prayer space in the Islamic Cemetery Altach, Austria. While here she will be researching Shangri La’s textile collection in conjunction with her ongoing research on ways in which contemporary art can pose new questions concerning cultural preservation and inform new approaches to humanitarian aid.

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