Luma Jasim performs at her performance event, NOSTALGIA TO BAGHDAD: BETWEEN DARK & BRIGHT MEMORIES
Visual Art

Luma Jasim

(New York) Artist Website Artist-in-Residence October Residency Year: 2018


Luma Jasim is an interdisciplinary Iraqi-born artist. Luma Jasim was born and raised in Baghdad during the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. She lived through three wars, an economic blockade, the United States invasion, and later, emigrated to Istanbul, Turkey. Jasim moved to the United States as a refugee, living in Boise, Idaho in 2008. Currently, Luma lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Jasim’s work uses the personal to address the political through mixed media painting, animation, and performance, alongside other mediums. Her work explores the relationship between violence, politics, gender, and her experience with immigration and acculturation. With her multimedia practice, Jasim reconstructs memories, traumas, and thoughts on displacement, belonging, and home.

During her time at Surel’s Place, Luma Jasim hopes to explore the concept of distance: both mental and physical. She plans to use mixed media painting on large-scale canvas, short animation, and performance. A major concept she will be exploring is the relation with home; where someone was born and raised, the choices of leaving, and the consequences of staying.


In this workshop, Surel’s Place Artist-in-Residence Luma Jasim shared the process of creating a stop-motion animation using charcoal or ready objects, iPhones or any camera, and Adobe Photoshop. Everything can be animated, especially with easy access to smart phones.


I didn’t choose to be born in Baghdad
I didn’t choose to be called a Muslim
I didn’t choose to spend my early years hearing bombs and watching funerals
I didn’t choose to be a woman
I didn’t choose to have Saddam Hussein be my president
I didn’t choose to be there when he invaded Kuwait
I didn’t choose to suffer under the economic blockade
I didn’t choose to be close to terror attacks
I didn’t choose to not have electricity for a decade
I didn’t choose not to resist the wave against women
I didn’t choose to make art, but art chose me
I didn’t choose to stay there
I didn’t choose to come to Boise as a refugee

But, I chose and choose to be myself