Yarn-dez-vous

Yarn·dez·vous is a growing wearable quilt featuring an Islamic geometric pattern. Hexagons and stars of the quilt can be transformed into individual letterman’s jackets and vice versa: the jackets unzip flat into geometric elements that form the larger quilt. Using textiles from the Middle East and United States, this cultural fabric is designed to map […]

Wanderjahre #2

Wanderjahre #2 is the second in the series of cultural mobility projects highlighting the immigrant as a transmitter of ornaments, knowledge and skills. ………………………………………………………………………… Azra Akšamija, Wanderjahre #2, 2014 Medium: Corduroy, leather belt, belt-compass, prayer beads. Credits: Project author (concept and design): Azra Akšamija. Prototype development: Lillian Harden. Material sponsoring and production: Original-Veddel R.Paulsen GmbH. […]

Wanderjahre #1

Wanderjahre #1 is the first in the series of cultural mobility projects highlighting the immigrant as a transmitter of ornaments, knowledge and skills. ………………………………………………………………………… Azra Akšamija, Wanderjahre #1, 2014 Medium: porcelain. Credits: Project author (concept and design): Azra Akšamija. Ceramic painting: Nurgün Yavuz. Production help: Mahir M. Yavuz. Ceramic Craftsman: Selim Yazıcı. Assistant Designer: Ayşegül […]

Spring Collection

Helmets inspired by protests across the globe, witnessing the crisis of representative democracy. ………………………………………………………………………… Azra Akšamija, Spring Collection, 2014 Mixed-media: photographs, dimensions variable Credits: Collaboration and photo assistance: Karina Silvester. Courtesy of Azra Akšamija.

Future Heritage

The Future Heritage Collection [FHC] is a collection of stories that provide different perspectives on the notion of heritage, its origins, its past, present or future politics and relevance, and contemporary threats. FHC is comprised of stories collected though interviews with ‘experts’ on varied subjects including Islamic manuscripts, Egyptian architecture, and the memory of the Holocaust. Interviewees are […]

Museum Solidarity Lobby [MSL]

Museum Solidarity Lobby [MSL] is a system that creates empathy with threatened heritage worldwide, while critically reflecting on the role and relevance of the museum for civil society today. The system is open to public participation and operates though spatial, activist and discursive forms of lobbying.  MSL grew out of the acute crisis of chief […]

CultureShutdown / Solidarity Day

On October 4, 2012, after 124 years of existence, the country’s National Museum closed down due to the government’s failure to secure legal status and adequate funding. Six other state-level institutions, including the National Art Gallery and the National and University Library are also about to become permanently inaccessible to public. The safety of precious […]

Mashrabiya

Mashrabiya is a hybrid architectural element revealing the shifting cultural, historical and political dimensions in light of cultural globalization, foregrounding thereby the notion of identity as a process of constant flux and cultural exchange. Mashrabiya is a spiritual, decorative, and functional architectural element that merges the form and function of the Islamic window screen with […]

Unity. Textile Muqarnas

“Unity” is a textile structure based on Islamic muqarnas (stalactite-like decorative three-dimensional elements found in Islamic monuments) designed by Azra Akšamija and Joel Lamere. The structure is hung from the neo-Gothic archway of the exhibition’s entrance. The modular structure of the muqarnas has transformed and sewn together into a complex whole — unity of forms […]

Cultural Transfers

The project consist of a range of different signs that address both the ongoing societal polarization in regard to the presence and visibility of Muslims, ethnic minorities and immigrants in Western Europe.  The project reacts to the sign language used in diverse anti-mosque posters and protests prompted by an increased visibility of Muslims in European […]

Shingle-Mihrab

Islamic prayer space within the Islamic Cemetery Altach: Qibla wall and prayer rugs The first Islamic Cemetery in Vorarlberg, Austria, opened on June 2, 2012, nine years since the first idea for the project. Located in the municipality of Altach, along the road L190 between Hohenems and Götzis, the cemetery serves all Islamic communities from […]

Digesting Dayton

This interactive installation in the form of a buffet was  set up as a part of the event “[Boston] Intercultural Mixer: Discover Bosnia” at American Islamic Congress (AIC) in Boston, USA. All attendees were invited to participate. A map of Bosnia and Herzegovina has been sown onto the tablecloth. The food was arranged along the […]

Monument in Waiting

Monument in Waiting is a collective testimony of the ‘ethnic cleansing’ in Bosnia-Herzegovina, carried out by nationalist extremists during the war of 1992-95. This process of territorial and cultural ‘decontamination’ involved the eviction and mass murder of civilians, as well as the extermination of their cultural and historical traces. Places of worship being particularly targeted, […]

Kunstmoschee [Art-Mosque]

The KUNSTMOSCHEE is an interactive installation located on the external grounds of the Secession from July 20th through September 30th, 2007. Thematically, it concerns the interrelationships between architecture, territorial and visual manifestations of religion, identity politics and cultural patterns of Western Europe today.

Frontier Vest

The Frontier Vest hybridizes different religious equipment and a contemporary vest design. This wearable prototype lends itself for different purposes, both sacred and secular. Pointing at the shared histories and belief systems of Judaism and Islam, the Frontier Vest can be transformed either into a tallit, a Jewish prayer shawl, or into an Islamic prayer […]

Dirndlmoschee [Dirndl Dress Mosque]

Based on the concept of the Nomadic Mosque (see Nomadic Mosque project description) the premise the Dirndlmoschee is the nomadic principle of assimilating certain characteristics of a place into one’s own context, whereas a mutual enrichment is achieved. The Dirndl, a traditional Austrian dress, is still worn in the every day life in some places […]

Arizona Road

The project Arizona Road examines the informal urban phenomena of the Arizona Market in northern Bosnia-Herzegovina, the largest black market in the Balkans at the time. The market emerged along the federal highway called “Arizona Road” during the recent war in the region. The project involves documentation of the market’s emergence, as well as a […]

Skalamerija [Contraption]

Skalamerija is a follow up project of my Arizona Road project from 2002. Skalamerija is a contraption aimed at a de-formalizing the Arizona Market’s current highly regulated spatial order, which has led to the market’s recession. Ever since its regulation in 2002, the trade and urban development of the Arizona Market has been decreasing, thus […]

Bread&Games, Plant&Play

The project Bread and Games, Plant and Play investigates the interaction of the formal and informal systems in the process of urban revitalization. It intended to become a communicator of problems and ideas in the Liverpool L1 area by provoking a set of questions to which the community would find their own answers and solutions. The […]

Lost Highway Expedition [LHE]

The Lost Highway Expedition is a tour to explore the unknown future of Europe. A massive joint movement of over 200 artists and individuals traveled through nine cities in the Western Balkan (Ljubljana, Zagreb, Novi Sad, Belgrade, Skopje, Priština, Tirana, Podgorica and Sarajevo) from July 30 to August 24 of 2006. Expedition participants formed a […]

Tempelmarke [Temple Tag]

Tempelmarke or Temple Tag is a collaborative art project by Azra Akšamija and Dietmar Offenhuber designed for the exhibition “The Turks in Vienna,” running from 12 May  – 31 October 2010 at the Jewish Museum Vienna. The exhibition explores the history of the Jewish Sephardic community, which lived in Vienna under the protectorate of the […]

The Fallen Angel

The project The Fallen Angel explores the phenomenon of the so-called war souvenirs produced by Bosnian craftsmen, who transform artillery shells into vases through traditional metalworking techniques. The shell-vases seem to be the only true solution for many people to deal with their own personal tragedy – they express people’s inner conflicts and feelings by […]

Survival Mosque

Survival Mosque addresses issues of Muslims living in the contemporary USA. The survival kit contains elements for self protection such as the American-flag façade that communicates patriotism, gas-masque, nose filters and an umbrella that surveys one’s back. The mosque is self-sufficient; the prayer rug is supplying its own energy source via photo-voltaic solar cells. It […]

Nomadic Mosque

The Nomadic Mosque project explores various ways of negotiating spatial relationships between Islamic traditions and modernity in the US and Western Europe. Through the design of wearable mosques, clothes that can be transformed into prayer-rugs, the project examines the notion of the mosque space and investigates its formal limits. Whereas it respects religious restrictions, the […]

Flocking Mosque

Flocking Mosque creates a prayer space in the form of a rug made of little textile pieces, which can be used as slippers and hanf pillows, facilitating Islamic ritual prayer by providing a clean space. The rug is used during the five daily prayers, a crucial pillar of the rules Muslims observe known as the […]

Generic Mosque

In different cultures and in different time periods, places of worship have been traditionally adorned with symbols of devotion; architectural ornament, sculpture and other decorative mediums were used to teach doctrine, as well as create places for prayer.

Kupujmo svoje! [Let us buy ours!]

Concerned with issues of survival economy in Bosnia and Herzegovina after the war, this project presents examples of the current economic chain of products, vendors, markets. It t is visualizing consequences of the past war as well as the country’s current socio-political conditions. The end of the communist era opened up a new unexplored market […]

Urinelke [Carnation Urinal]

Urinelke is a public urinal for women and men in the shape of carnation flowers. The proposal was designed for “Graz Cultural Capital 2003.” The installation was meant to be set up in several locations around the city, and was meant to stay on as permanent aesthetic component of the urban fabric. The Urinelkes are […]

Trouble Shooters

Times Square, a place where the expression of the capital flow seems to reach its culmination point, represents one of the most spectacular places in New York City. Conversely, the informal economy also shapes a part of its identity. Some street vendors have been working in the area of Times Square since 18 years and […]