Art exhibit on post-9/11 racial violence defaced in Chicago

In a racist incident, an exhibit highlighting post-9/11 racial profiling and hate directed against Muslims, was allegedly defaced at an art school in Chicago.

The exhibit on racial profiling and the rise of violence and hate against Muslims in the post-9/11 era by student Anida Yoeu Ali was vandalised with large caricatures and a word bubble highlighting the text “Kill all Arabs”, America’s largest Muslim civil rights group, Council on American-Islamic Relations, said in a statement.

The incident happened at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

The exhibit of Ali, the school’s graduate student, is part of a larger ongoing series of work, the ‘1700 per cent Project,’ which is a collaborative effort that uses art as a form of response to hate crimes.

“This act of vandalism is a hate crime and it is clear that bigotry and racism was behind it. This artist, a Muslim, was targeted based on her religion.

“Acts like these promote censorship and are an attack on anyone who believes in freedom of expression and freedom of speech,” Civil Rights Director at the Chicago chapter of Council on American-Islamic Relations, Christina Abraham said.

Ali described the incident as an assault not only on her as an artist, but also as an attack on multiple communities to which the work speaks for.

“We must work to transform the marks of vandalism and hate into public acts of collective healing and reclamation. This is a call to action to respond as a community,” Ali said.

So far, there are no suspects in the incident.

No other art exhibits displayed in the school’s were vandalised.