Sarah Zarina Hakani is a South-Asian, Shi’a Ismaili Muslim from Atlanta, whose work focuses on the de- and re-construction of memory in the context of reclaiming the archive as independent of, but directly informed by, the systems and structures that morph it. Engrams (units of memory) are modified through interacting with the present every single time a memory is recalled, and reconsolidated in the brain. If all memories are reconstructions, can we rewrite our histories? 

Her research on Munajat, secret, intimate conversations with Allah, guide her creative practice of reiteration. These confidential spaces of Munajat illuminate what once was and interrogates what could emerge from liminal worlds, unbounded by post-colonial, manufactured amnesia. She relies on the process of making, remaking, making a few years later, making but in a new medium, new place, to access the generative evolution of histories, mourning the loss of but also reimagining the potential of ever-emergent archives.

Sarah’s work takes advantage of this mental paleontology: to re-remember is to rebuild. Each iteration of theme, pattern, each reaccessing makes space for the engram to shift. Creating spaces that allow her to tap into pre-colonial remembrances through intimate conversations with Allah may not be “true” but they can become “real”.

Currently, Sarah is exploring how creation can serve as a tool for learning and innovation, particularly for marginalized folks to rewrite their interactions with the world as a learning designer. She is also an Artist-in-Residence at The People’s Forum in New York, and co-founder and editor of Reconstructed Magazine, a space that uplifts queer, Black, and Shi’a Muslims, navigating their own ever-evolving faith practices through creation.

Get in touch with her via this contact form or Instagram.