Hilal Khalil Homaidan
Salon al-Mahjar ( صالون المهجر) is a collective of queer, trans, and allied artists, actors, writers, storytellers, activists, feminists, dancers, singers, musicians, poets, thinkers, teachers, and historians from the West Asian and North African diaspora that challenges what may be considered inappropriate "ayb" عيب or "haram" حرام.
Since 2018, Salon al-Mahjar ( صالون المهجر) has offered artists a safe and experimental space to share original works in progress, with opportunities for constructive feedback and interdisciplinary dialogue. Masrah al-Mahjar ( مسرح المهجر ) will be a public showcase, taking place on October 1 and 3, 2020 at the Target Margin Theater. Pieces will be selected from prior salon performances that show potential for further development, with the goal of creating a narratively cohesive performance that showcases a diverse range of genres and experiences; incorporates multiple languages, dialects, and aesthetics; and centers the experiences of the West Asian and North African artists (“al-Mahjar” or “المهجر”) in Brooklyn--but can be attended and enjoyed by all populations.
The showcase shall provide artists with the opportunity to develop fully-produced versions of their work, a platform free of censorship, tokenization, and Orientalism; and the promotional support to expand their professional reach. Building upon the success of the salons that have empowered artists from al-Mahjar ( المهجر ) the collective makes its voices heard in the broader Brooklyn and NYC community. In a time of xenophobia, immigration restrictions, and aggressive nationalism it is essential to define their own narratives in the public consciousness, rather than accept those that have been written for us.