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Xariir – Khadijah Muse


Xariir – Khadijah Muse

August 1 – 29, Gage Gallery

Artists Talk & Reception: August 17, 2019, 6pm, Gage Family Art Gallery


Xariir is an installation that examines the role of women in the Somali community with regards to the unspoken and informal ways of transferring knowledge from one generation to the next. Whether in applied settings within specific situations and actions as the end goal or through ceremonial rituals and outcomes, transference of knowledge takes many forms. In particular, elder members within the Somali community oversee the learning process.

The women in the community, bearers of wisdom, cherish their roles as educators and wear their status as a badge of honor. In this way, the elders mediate and steer the younger generation through various cultural relations that shape so much of the next generation’s frame of references and ways of knowing the world.

While formal education in schools plays a vital role in Somali society, settings for this type of traditional ways of knowing within the Somalis often takes place in private and public gatherings. Thus, the assemblage and juxtaposition of the various materials, patterns and colors in Xariir references the myriad ways in which wisdom from one generation to the next flows.

Khadijah Muse is a visual artist and art organizer based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her practice is greatly influenced by her commitment to community building. Khadijah uses art as a tool to explore interpersonal and environmental relationships using various mediums including photography, woodworking, sculpture, and installation.

Understanding the power of art, Khadijah facilitates opportunities for other Somali artists to optimize their artistic potential. She is the co-founder and director of Soomaal House of Art, a Minnesota-based Somali artists collective. Khadijah holds a BS in Sociology from the University of Minnesota. She is one of the two 2019 Soomaal Fellows, an initiative by Soomaal House of Art in partnership with Augsburg University Art Gallery.