Ms Leslie Hakim-Dowek
I have been teaching across many modules on the Photography degree and was previously Course Leader of Access Art and Design. My degree and postgraduate studies were in Fine Art (Painting) but for many years now, my practice has been photography-based and is sometimes combined with text/creative writing. I have continued to explore issues of identity, memory and migrancy relating to my place of birth, the Lebanon, with over-arching leitmotivs of War and the wilderness.
Linked to my ongoing interest on how history, personal identity and memory can be articulated to reclaim representations and speak of multiple diasporas, I have recently been involved in an Arts and Humanities Research Culture Network scheme titled ‘Ottoman Pasts, Present Cities: Cosmopolitanism and Transcultural Memories’ (2012-2014). As the Visual advisor, I curated the main impact event namely the exhibition ‘East and West: Visualising the Ottoman City’ and helped to organize an International conference in June 2014 at Birkbeck College plus several interdisciplinary workshops and gallery events. As also relevant to my practice, other themes explored were how artists formed ‘archives’ to help deviate from the dominant narrative of the media and point to the multiplicity of narratives that made up these complex Ottoman cities as well as the nature of disputed memories and representations of particular attachments to land and place in spite of histories of trauma and exile.