Yasmeen Nematt Alla (she/her) is an Egyptian immigrant and settler living in Tkaronto, Turtle Island (colonially known as Toronto, Ontario). She has a BA in Fine Arts from the University of Waterloo and is an MFA candidate and a Gilbert Fellow at Cranbrook Academy of Arts. She has most recently exhibited at the Bronx River Art Centre in Bronx NY, Heaven Gallery in Chicago IL, and Xpace Cultural Centre in Toronto ON. She has previously been an artist resident in the Banff Centre, ACRE, STEPs Public Art, UKAI Projects, La Centrale Galerie Powerhouse, and is currently an artist resident at Ferment AI and HXOUSE Creative Think Tank. As an artist worker, she supports art organizations in creating accessible and anti-racist modes of communications in their day-to-day operations.
Her practice centres alienated collectivist narratives from an immigrant’s and an interpreter’s perspective. Nematt Alla’s practice often is an analogue of immigrancy—of the desperate need to seek out the collective, in ways that transform our intergenerational traumas into intergenerational care and intergenerational joy. In order to emigrate, one must leave a community behind, and in order to immigrate, one must be received. The existence of the immigrant is the seeking out for the collective. It is the confession that we are lonely and in search of more, that we have a desire to become more than the sum of our parts. As someone who lives between cultures, she deciphers language barriers attached to togetherness through textiles, performance, and reactive sculptures that are often situated in social practice.