Zaynab Ghaïs-Mortada

Visual artist from Tiohtiá:ke/Mooniyang/Montréal, with a background in history (including arts history), philosophy and anthropology*. 

Her main medium is photography and her practice usually involves returning to the same places to attend to and document 'uneventful' changes/transformations of spaces, objects, peoples, etc. Her practice is slow, unrushed and attentive. She is drawn to the minutia, or subtle things around her, to which she returns devotionally over the years.

Because her work stretches over several years, a lot of it happens in the archive —mainly constituted of her own photography (spanning over 16 years), and her family's archive. She recuperates photos, stories, drawings and meaningful materials like wood from her grandparents' pear tree to carve frames and spoons, or olive leaves from their groves in Lebanon to sew into her drawings.

Outside of her art practice, Zaynab is a researcher whose work lies at the intersections of phenomenology, critical philosophy of race, epistemology, and Québec history and politics. She is also an agricultural worker who has been devoting herself to plants for more than 8 years, tending orchards, flower gardens and edible indigenous/heirloom gardens on the island.

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