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i bear witness

I Bear Witness

Amina Ahmed, Josh Begley, Ambreen Butt, Hasan Elahi, Sham-e-Ali Nayeem, Saba Taj, Patricia Wakida

Curated by Atif Sheikh

In dialogue with Matthew Hashiguchi's Good Luck Soup

October 31, 2016 - January 13, 2017
Opening Reception: First Friday, November 4, 6-8 pm
at Asian Arts Initiative

And I Bear Witness to your times/and our times//then and now//and to all that may connect us/and our times//now and eventually

Serving as a palimpsest of the racism and fears all too prevalent in America today, narratives of the WWII internment of Japanese Americans find resonance with immigrant and Muslim American artists providing a contemporary perspective on the dynamics of community identity, division, solidarity, and strength. In conversation with Matthew Hashiguchi's documentary Good Luck Soup, which examines the reintegration of Japanese Americans into U.S. society post WWII.

Good Luck Soup is presented in collaboration with the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival and partially funded by the JACL Legacy Fund Grants Program.


12G Salon

Sandaraa at 12G

November 2, 2016
Tickets: $15

Join us at 12G for an intimate evening of music by the Pakistani-Brooklyn band "Sandaraa", packed by Baluchi, Pashto, and Dari sounds weaved around reeds and oud, drums and violin.

Imagined hybrids from lost empires, the unexpected sounds of Sandaraa ("song" in Pashto) show how Eastern Europe the indus Civilization and Central Asia connect. The melismatic might of modal music and the ringing grit of mountain songs, the rollicking trance beats and restrained emotional intensity, have an eerie resonance, despite surface differences. A magical world of global sounds comes alive when superstar Pakistani vocalist Zeb Bangash joins forces with a retinue of leading Brooklyn musicians led by klezmer clarinet virtuoso Michael Winograd to unlock the musical secrets and history of their regions steeped in ecstatic mysticism, war, migrations and ancient cities lost to the sands of time.

For more information:



Masterminding Our Ordered Rage

March 17 - April 8, 2017
First Workshop: Tuesday September 20th, 630PM
Second Workshop: Monday October 24th, 600PM

In March 2017, to acknowledge, affirm and support “the critical role that Black lives and struggles for Black liberation have played in inspiring and anchoring, through practice and theory, social movements for the liberation of all people” as expressed by the #BlackLivesMatter movement, Twelve Gates Arts -- a Philadelphia-based South Asian arts nonprofit -- will host performances and an art exhibition by South Asian/American or Desi and Black artists paired in groups across multiple disciplines a result of a series of moderated workshops.

Inspired by Yolanda Wisher's poem "From Imhotep's Kundalini", the artists participating in this Art Intervention will explore from diverse angles (e.g., religion, music, etc.) the devastating American landscape strewn with the detritus of Black lives, highlighting those lives whose time to emerge from the shadows is long overdue -- queer and trans, the disabled, the undocumented, the poor, the incarcerated, women, and all Black lives along the gender spectrum. It is this same landscape of systematic yet coolly indifferent state violence against Black people that generations of South Asian Americans also call home, immigrant and non-immigrant. #BLM@12G hopes to unflinchingly explore the concrete differences in "context, experience and oppression" in the various Black and Desi lives at stake by examining the ways in which we collectively participate in [anti-Black racism], even unintentionally" and by exploring the interplay between #BLM and other social justice movements in the South Asian context.

For inquiries and interest contact

© Twelve Gates Arts

Asia Contemporary Art Week (ACAW) New York
A Season-long Platform, September 8 - November 18, 2016

As a proud ACAW Consortium Partner , we are pleased to participate in the 11th edition of Asia Contemporary Art Week (ACAW) - A curatorial & educational platform connecting over 40 New York & Asia based art institutions to present cutting-edge exhibitions, innovative projects, provocative dialogues and festivities citywide, culminating in ACAW's signature program FIELD MEETING Take 4: Thinking Practice and other special events.

For more information on ACAW 2016 and FIELD MEETING visit:

Twelve Gates Arts is pleased to support Amina Ahmed in FIELD MEETING Take 4: Thinking Practice.

Twelve Gates Arts (12G) is a non profit (501(c)(3)) organization created with the aim to showcase international multidisciplinary arts bound by the sensibilities of a diasporic identity, especially the South Asian identity, and to create and promote projects in the community that cross geographic and cultural boundaries.