Cassidy Hana Kassab

Cassidy Hana Kassab

Technique: The images were created digitally using photography and Photoshop.

Cassidy Kassab was born in Detroit, USA in 1991. She obtained her Bachelor of Studio Art with a concentration in painting and drawing from Oakland University and a Master of Arts in Art Therapy degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

As a member of the Chaldean/Assyrian/Syriac community she has been affected by the persecution of Christians in the Middle East. Cassidy says: ‘This persecution upsets me, as I have grown up in a Western society where Christians are considered the privileged majority and are villainized for it. In many Western cultures, Christian voices in the Middle East are silenced due to their association with communities in the West. With that said, the persecution of Christians in the Middle East is grossly unacknowledged and under-reported in the U.S., especially in my experience. I have sat in liberal circles where no one wants to hear about persecuted Christians because it is not an occurrence in the West. This is however untrue as Christian voices are pushed to the outer circles of current social and political conversations in the country.’

Cassidy has titled her work ‘Modern Martyrdom’ (2017). This body of work aims to raise awareness about what is currently happening in Iraq. She placed text from the Chaldean Martyr Prayers over the images to reference the history of persecution of Chaldeans/Assyrians/Syriacs.

Cassidy says: ‘While creating this body of work I cultivated a deeper understanding of the nature of the oppression this community has experienced as one which permeates time and history. Using the Chaldean martyr prayers in conjunction with current images brings the reality that this community is still being persecuted and has an intense history of persecution to the forefront. This work is intended to stand in solidarity with my brothers and sisters in what I consider my homeland of Iraq and to honour their struggle, perseverance, and unceasing faith.’

The research project “Gilgamesh: Untold Experiences of Vulnerable Groups” is co-financed by the Swedish Riksbankens Jubileumsfond.