Leila Abdelrazaq

May 29 – June 8, 2022

Leila Abdelrazaq (b. 1992, Chicago) is a Palestinian author and artist. Her debut graphic novel, Baddawi (Just World Books 2015) was shortlisted for the 2015 Palestine Book Awards and has been translated into three languages. Since then, she has created a number of other zines and comics, including one graphic novella, The Opening (2017). She has published, exhibited work, and given workshops around the world, and her writing and comics have been seen in The Funambulist, The Believer Magazine, Kohl Journal, The FADER, The Michigan Quarterly Review, and others. She is also co-founder of the small press and distro, Maamoul Press. Leila earned her MA in Modern Middle Eastern & North African Studies from the University of Michigan in 2020, where her research focused on Palestinian futurist art and post-national imaginaries. She lives in Detroit with her sweet husband and a very fluffy cat.

During her time at Good Hart, Leila will be working on her second full-length graphic novel, Five Times Fast. The graphic novel uses magical realism, speculative fiction, and glitch art to tell the story of a Palestinian teenager living in Dearborn in the 2050s alongside the stories of five generations of her maternal ancestors.

Artist Statement

The daughter of a Palestinian refugee, my creative work primarily explores issues related to diaspora, refugeehood, history, memory, and borders. Both a visual artist and a storyteller, I use the tensions and contradictions that may emerge in the interplay between the written word and imagery to craft graphic stories that pose more questions than answers, offer counter-narratives to dominant discourses, and grapple with the messiness of life. Whether working in memoir or fiction, my work often collapses space and time, dissolving the border between dreams and reality and weaving multiple narratives alongside one-another in an non-linear fashion, in order to explore the core themes of a story. As an abolitionist and an artist, I am currently invested in imagining what Palestinian liberation might look like beyond the violence inherent in statehood.

Images courtesy of the artist

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