The Waq Waq Tree

In the Shade of a Waq Waq Tree
Undrawing the Line
5 metre x 2.4 metre modular drawing with anaglyph 3D
Lead artists Safdar Ahmed, Zanny Begg, Mona Moradveisi and Murtaza Ali Jafari with contributions from Bashir Ahmed, Mansoora Gulzari, Parastoo Bahrami, Neda Bahrami, Mohammad, Madina Sayer, Farnaz Yegan, Kamaleshwaran Selladurai, Susie Egg, Daminda Ehsan and Tabarak (some names have been changed to protect the security of participants).
Exhibited at Salon Fluchthilfe, the Secession, Vienna, 2014, Protest Songs: Artful Actions at Lismore Regional Gallery, 2014 and Quo Vadis: the Last Drawing Show, UNSW Galleries, 2014. In the Shade of the Waq Waq Tree received a Mayoral Award on January 31 as part of the Paramor Prize, Casula Powerhouse, Sydney.

Mona Moradveisi, Murtaza Ali Jafari, Safdar Ahmed and Zanny Begg
Undrawing the Line; Mona Moradveisi, Murtaza Ali Jafari, Safdar Ahmed and Zanny Begg

In the Shade of the Waq Waq Tree is a modular collaborative drawing produce by the collective Undrawing the Line. The drawing was first produced for an exhibition on Utopia at The Secession, Vienna. Undrawing the Line was formed by four people who come from refugees and non-refugee backgrounds – Mona Moradveisi, Safdar Ahmed, Zanny Begg and Murtaza Ali Jafari – to challenge the binary between citizen and non-citizen that frames current thinking about borders.

Using borderlessness as method Undrawing the Line began working on an oversized drawing of the Waq Waq Tree in anaglyph 3D. Waq Waq is a non-place from 13th century Islamic maps that denoted the limits of the known world, it sits outside the western tradition of utopia and predates Thomas More’s famous book by a few hundred years. Evocative of a posthuman reality the Waq Waq tree grows human fruit that speak of the future. To affect a physical breach of “the binary” viewers needed to wear 3D glasses, which disrupt signals between the left and right eyes, providing glimpses a borderless future animated along the Z axis.

In The Shade of the Waq Waq Tree facard project, Vienna, 2014.
Screen Shot 2015-04-12 at 10.25.52 PM
People in the street interacting with Undrawing the Line Facard Project, Vienna. Photo by Ines Doujak.

 In the Shade of the Waq Waq Tree was produced through workshops with refugees in detention (Villawood Detention Centre and in community detention). Undrawing the Line was formed in October 2014 and In The Shade of the Waq Waq Tree is its first project. The collective produced a new collaborative drawing project, The Chant of Nudimmud, with Powerhouse Youth Theatre, Fairfield, 2015.

Some members of Undrawing the Line and friends at the opening of the Paramor Prize, Casula Powerhouse, 2015. Photo by Ben Williams.


Media for Undrawing the Line:

Review, Artforum, Miguel Amado, 2014
Refugees say it through Art, Jennine Kahlik, Fairfield Advance, 2015
In the Shade of the Waq Waq Tree, Uniken, Summer 2014-2015