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Being & Belonging

Being & Belonging Claimed

Contemporary Women Artists from the Islamic World and Beyond

Exhibition Overview

Being & Belonging

Exhibition Type
Art, Contemporary Art
Area Size
200 to 500 sqm
500 to 1000 sqm
Designed For
Museums and Galleries
Hiring Fee

For a 3-month rental excl. transport, installation, insurance:

This hiring fee is set for the following exhibition format:
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Core Experience
Original collection
Exhibition Partners
The exhibition was created by the Royal Ontario Museum.



Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) invites two additional museums to join them in examining the defining issues of our time from the perspectives of several women artists connected to the broader Islamic world with their exhibition, Being and Belonging.

Curated by Dr. Fahmida Suleman, Curator of the Islamic World collections at ROM and Dr. Silvia Forni, Director of the Fowler Museum at UCLA, Being and Belonging is the first exhibition of its breadth and depth in North America that features a range of international and intergenerational women artists. Being and Belonging showcases over 100 magnificent artworks, from global artists including Huda Lutfi, Lalla Essaydi, Lubaina Himid, Mona Hatoum, Shahzia Sikander, Shirin Neshat, CANAN, Shamsia Hassani and Sama Alshaibi, among others.  

“It’s a unique opportunity to experience contemporary art that will stir your emotions, intellect, and aesthetic sensibilities. Each captivating work has been selected in discussion with the artist and will be presented through her words. Some of the themes are emotionally challenging, and that’s what makes them powerful,” says Dr. Fahmida Suleman, lead curator of Being and Belonging and Curator of the Islamic World collections at ROM.

Organized in three thematic sections – Space, Movement, and Power – Being and Belonging addresses issues of displacement, patriarchy, 2SLGBTQIA rights, spirituality, and politics through mesmerizing and poetic works. Providing a kaleidoscope of viewpoints, these powerful artworks will reflect on universal themes through a range of media including painting, photography, graffiti art, textiles, ceramics, animation, mosaics, and video installations.

“Spanning diverse media and many nations across the Islamic world and beyond, the artworks in Being and Belonging resist easy categorization,” says Josh Basseches, ROM Director & CEO. “But they are united by their beauty, their boldness, and the belief that art can help us understand the most complex and pressing issues of our times.”

Visitors will have the opportunity to experience artworks created by international artists from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Canada, Egypt, Germany, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Lebanon, Morocco, Pakistan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Syria, Tanzania, Turkey, UK, USA, and Uzbekistan.

“It is exciting to have these amazing works in dialogue. The artists in the show confront important issues of our time from war, migration, gender discrimination, racism, and globalization, to spirituality from a critical and personal standpoint. It is a chorus of powerful women inviting us to reflect on the complexity of our contemporary world,” says Dr. Silvia Forni, co-curator of Being and Belonging and former Senior Curator of Global Africa at ROM.

Unique in its scope, Being and Belonging will offer a rare glimpse into the worlds and lives of 25 contemporary women artists grappling with the most critical issues of our time. A fully illustrated catalogue featuring interviews with the artists that provides deeper insights into their creative practices and works will accompany the exhibition. 

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Textiles & Costumes
Paintings Drawings & Prints
Film & Sound
Digital art

General Information

Created In
Available Package Options
Collection and interpretation


Past and Future Venues
Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Ontario

Extra Info

Exhibition Add-Ons
Catalogue / book

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