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“Samia Halaby Uncanceled,” an art event, will take place in Buskirk-Chumley on February 17



Bloomington, Indiana – “Samia Halaby Uncanceled,” a screening of videos featuring the works and life of Palestinian painter Samia Halaby, will take place in the Buskirk-Chumley Theater on February 17 at 7 p.m. The American Association of University Professors’ IU Bloomington chapter and individual benefactors are sponsoring the free event, which will need a ticket.

After three years of development, Halaby’s abstract art show was scheduled to debut at the Eskenazi Museum of Art on February 10. The show was canceled by IU on December 20, citing safety issues. Provost Rahul Shrivastav called the exhibition a “potential lightning rod” that might spark protests rather than stating he could determine whether IU had received specific, credible threats in a speech to the Bloomington Faculty Council on January 16.

Professor of mathematics at IU and AAUP member Elizabeth Housworth predicted that the event will probably be listed on the Buskirk website this week. Housworth came up with the concept for the event, organized it, and eventually convinced the AAUP to support it.

The main goals of Bloomington’s AAUP chapter, which was established in 1919, are shared governance and academic independence. The group published a bulletin approximately once every semester and pushed for the establishment of the Bloomington Faculty Council in 1947. The chapter denounced IU’s interpretation of university policy in dismissing tenured professor Abdulkader Sinno and canceling Halaby’s exhibition in a Spring 2024 issue of Bloomington’s AAUP newsletter.

The university was accused of losing sight of its purpose and chastised for “corporatization” in the study, which was based on an attempt to reduce the risks associated with potentially controversial speech.

“We see no purpose in treating the administration’s vague and unexplained ‘security concerns’ as anything other than a pretext to avoid subjecting to scrutiny the real reasons for its actions,” the newsletter read regarding Halaby.

According to Housworth, Halaby’s kinetic paintings, which are designed for a 1985 Commodore Amiga 1000 computer, will be exhibited at the Buskirk-Chumley event. The program will also include YouTube movies about her life, including one directed by the renowned cinematographer Bill Winters and another specially made by Madison Gordon, Halaby’s granddaughter. Housworth added that Winters would attend the function and might give a speech.

“This is the event for people who want to understand what was canceled, who want to understand the art of Samia Halaby, her life, and her history,” she said.



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