While a graduate student in Women’s and Gender Studies at DePaul University in 2015, I started doodling in class to ease the trauma flashbacks I was experiencing while reading course materials that discussed military and gendered violence. Doodling was a way for me to avoid having to leave the classroom due to being triggered. Months later, my doodles turned into sketches, and as a result, a collection of over forty complete art pieces came to life. “The Art of Weeping” collection emerged slowly, as I was grappling with multiple traumas having lived under Israeli military occupation for twenty-one years, and later forced to migrate to the U.S in 2004.
My drawings highlight the complex and multilayered traumas of women and their resistance against the intersecting systems of oppression manifested in the military industrial complex, patriarchal societies, and forced migrations. My work is an act of decolonizing these bodies, including my own, as well as a creative form of struggle against oppression, through transgressing boundaries, making trauma visible, and linking it with collective and ancestral traumas.
“The Art of Weeping” is unapologetically about grief; it is an invitation to start a conversation about mental health, and an in-depth exploration of how trauma shapes our bodies and psyches following traumatic experiences. It is about allowing ourselves to fully experience our grief and create a space for our heartbrokenness. It is also about cultivating resilience and hope, and uplifting women’s voices.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Mary Hazboun is a multidisciplinary Chicago based Palestinian artist who practices “ The Art of Weeping” as an act of processing grief and somatic healing of bodies through drawing. Graduated from Depaul University in 2017 with a Master’s degree in Women’s and Gender Studies. Mary’s work highlights the nuanced traumas of women and their resistance against different forms of oppression that is manifested in the military machine, patriarchal societies, and forced migrations. She uses art as a way of emptying blocked emotions, opening internal space, and pouring in trauma-informed introspections as a form of healing. Mary was born and raised in the city of Bethlehem and moved to the U.S in 2004.
© Mary Hazboun