Art in the Space

Mary Hazboun‘s The Art of Weeping, a collection of prints where Mary recollects for her audience the lived experience of war trauma and resistance within bodies, as well as how they can be applied to militarized zones such as Iraq, Yemen, and Syria. You can see more of Mary Hazboun’s work at

Story of the Art of Weeping: The Art of Weeping collection emerged slowly, as I was grappling with multiple traumas due to living under Israeli military occupation for 21 years, and later forced to migrate to the U.S. in 2004. While a graduate student in Women’s and Gender Studies, I started doodling in class to ease the flashbacks and panic attacks I was experiencing when reading course materials that discussed war and military violence. I realized that this doodling was a way for me to avoid panic attacks and not to be forced to leave the classroom.
This sketching continued for months, and as a result, a collection of over thirty complete art pieces came to life. Some are products of a repressed memory of the 2nd Intifada (Uprising) in Palestine, and others emerged while I was watching the news or feeling triggered.
In The Art of Weeping, I highlight the multiple and intersecting traumas people in war zones experience due to extreme systematic violence and forced migration/displacement, and how these traumas continue to shape their psyches, whether they continue to live in the “militarized zone” or elsewhere. In addition, the work is an invitation to start a conversation about mental health, especially since it continues to be a taboo topic in many Arab and Muslim communities.
The Art of Weeping is unapologetically about grief. It is about allowing ourselves to fully experience our grief, and create a space for our heartbrokenness. On the other hand, it is also about cultivating resilience and radical hope, so we can reclaim our struggle and work towards transformative social change.
About Mary: Mary was born and raised in Bethlehem, Palestine and migrated with her family to Chicago in 2005 after the Second Intifada. She is an artist and a folk singer. You can read more about Mary in an interview here

Zeinab Saab: Zeinab’s prints and artist’s book collection were housed at our center Fall 2018. You can learn more about Zeinab’s art on