August 14, 2021

Sailors, Saints and Rituals at Sea

August 14, 2021 | Part of Some Time Away

Do you believe in the power of everyday rituals?

Starts 4:00 PM

Ends 6:00 PM

Venue Warehouse 50


The sea has historically been viewed as a space of freedom, but also bondage. It is at once boundless yet limited. How does thinking from the sea enable a different perspective on labour, isolation, illusion?

Departing from the conventional panel discussion, this conversation between researchers working collaboratively on quotidian rituals at sea across the Indian Ocean involves you (the audience) in the process of idea-generation and creative articulation. Triangulating culture, art, and community action, this discussion will probe the meaning of ritual for those who labor and move across the sea, including sailors, saints, and other kinds of migrants. Through a cascade of prompts, exercises, and questions, everyone thinks together through themes of migration, labour, memory, indigenous knowledge, ritual, and everyday spirituality in a fluid, conversational workshop with the potential to enrich us all.

To enhance this session’s collective exchange and storytelling, we would be grateful if you could share an object that reminds you of your home, or that you brought with you from your country of origin. If the object is large or difficult to carry, please feel free to bring a picture of it.


Robert Deguzman is interested in the intersection of art practice, culture making, and community engagement. His most recent works are about/with/and for migrants and focuses on counter discourses and counter narratives of migration and diaspora. He is currently a Theater Instructor at New York University Abu Dhabi.

Nidhi Mahajan is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of California- Santa Cruz and Fatima Mernissi Postdoctoral Fellow in Social and Cultural Studies at The Africa Institute in Sharjah. Her research and artistic practice focuses on questions of mobility, sovereignty, and histories of capitalism in the Indian Ocean, especially on the dhow trade across South Asia, the Middle East and East Africa.

Nada Raza is Director of Alserkal Arts Foundation.