MacKenzie Art Gallery, Albert Street, Regina, SK, Canada
For this exhibition, the MacKenzie will present Ya Ummi, Ya Ummi ... , a recent work by the artist that has not yet been exhibited. As an extension of QUID PRO QUO, the piece refers to the extra-judicial detainment of Omar Khadr, a Canadian who was arrested in 2002 and charged in the death of U.S. Army Sergeant Christopher Speer following a firefight in Afghanistan. The words “Ya ummi, ya ummi”, meaning “O Mother, O Mother” in Arabic, were repeated by Khadr during his interrogation by CSIS agents at Guantanamo Bay. Khadr, who was only 15 at the time of his arrest, later appealed his conviction and claimed that he had falsely confessed to gain transfer from Guantanamo Bay and serve the remainder of his sentence in Canada. He later sued the Canadian government for infringing his rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The lawsuit was settled in 2017 with a $10.5 million payment and an apology by the federal government. For Kennedy, the work is a response to “the power of interrogators over Omar Khadr,” and highlights the injustices connected with his illegal detainment by the Government of Canada.
Curated by Timothy Long, Head Curator of the MacKenzie Art Gallery
The exhibition will run from 20 October 2018 to 7 January 2019