Event description

The Tannery Series returns to PEM to explore Sacred Spaces.

Join us for a conversation, a writing workshop and a transcendent experience in PEM’s galleries.

1-2pm Conversation in Morse Auditorium
2:30-4:30 Writing Workshop in Bartlett Gallery

Where can Islam and the West come together? Where can the traditional meet the modern, the secular touch the divine, exclusion become understanding? Join The Tannery Series for two unforgettable events. First, be part of a conversation between National Book Award finalist Carla Power (If The Oceans Were Ink) and Intersections artist Anila Agha about bringing together opposing forces and inhabiting a sacred space. Then, discover your own sacred spaces in a writing workshop lead by Power, Agha and Tannery Series founder Kirun Kapur.

On the Program
Carla Power
, whose non-fiction debut tells the story of a celebrated American journalist and an internationally renowned sheikh challenging their worldviews—and friendship—to bridge one of the greatest divides shaping our world today. Described as “radical, magical and…relevant,” Power’s book, If The Oceans Were Ink, takes us between two faiths, to a place beyond differences.

Anila Quayyum Agha discusses her prize-winning installation Intersections, which appropriates and transforms traditional Islamic geometric motifs and decorations that once symbolized difference and exclusion, to create an amorphous, all-encompassing space that embraces and welcomes all visitors.

Writing Workshop: Writing Sacred Space
We often feel caught between opposing powers—past and present, alienation and belonging, male and female, shadow and light. In this workshop, we’ll use these tensions as a source of creative energy for writing. Guided by National Book Award finalist Carla Power (If The Oceans Were Ink), Intersections artist Anila Agha and Tannery Series founder Kirun Kapur, we’ll work towards creating art that accommodates contradiction and makes space for multiple possibilities. The program will be focused on writing, but includes drawing, generative exercises and spending time with Agha’s installation in PEM’s galleries. What will you find at your own intersections?

Come talk, write and explore with The Tannery Series.

Discussion and Workshop are free with admission. Workshop space is limited. To register for the workshop call 978-745-9500.  For more information about the program email info@tanneryseries.com.

This program continues The Tannery Series’ on-going collaboration with the Peabody Essex Museum. The program is part of Imagine, South Asia–a weekend of events celebrating Agha’s installation and showcasing the best contemporary art that references South Asia.


For a preview of Intersections, please view this video made in conjunction with this work’s installation at Rice University.