For the Web Residencies by Solitude on the topic »Post Doom« artist Shirin Fahimi takes visitors on a divinatory journey. Her augmented reality project Umm Al-Raml, Sand Narratives brings to life the fictional persona of Umm al-Raml. The mother of sand challenges the lack of female prophecy within Islamic literature and addresses divinators’ denunciation within contemporary Iranian society. Read an interview with the artist.
A conversation between Shirin Fahimi and Mara-Johanna Kölmel — Feb 24, 2021
Mara-Johanna Kölmel: Umm-al-Raml, the mother of sand, is a fictional persona that you have been developing through different iterations and performative collaborations. She represents a female prophet but also one of the many female forces that have been erased throughout history. How did this powerful figure come into being and start to pollinate your work?
Shirin Fahimi: Back in 2017 when I first began my research on ilm al-raml (science of sand) divination, for the Tarigh-o-Shekl project, I was intrigued by the amount of speculation and ambiguity regarding the origin of this divination. I found several different yet similar stories of its origin. They all shared a character of a male prophet who lost his way, therefore God sent the angel Gabriel to teach each of them the knowledge of ilm al-raml so they could find their paths.
»Gabriel appeared to him in the shape of a man, drew lines in the sand and said to him: You are a prophet; but you hide your gift of prophecy out of fear of your fellow men.«1 >> Read more at :