Erin Currier

Aminatou Haidar

Acrylic & mixed media on panel, 36"h x 48"w, Item No. 9133,

“While Morocco was the first nation to recognize the United States independent from England, the country has since been focused on various geographical expansions of its own, most notably in the Wester Sahara. In this particularly arresting portrait of the Saharawi human rights activist Aminatou Haidar, Currier portrays Haidar in the waiting lounge of the Lanzarote airport in Spain where, ‘to ensure her personal protection’ she was held for 32 days as a ‘stateless’ hostage at the request of the Moroccan government. Long a thorn in Morocco’s side, Haidar, a single mother of two children, has campaigned for the independence of the Western Sahara for decades, enduring imprisonment, torture, and revocation of citizenship. During her 32 days in the waiting lounge, Haidar engaged in a hunger strike, which finally came to an end after the United States intervened in the crisis. Here, Currier has built out the foreground of the collage, emphasizing perhaps the special precariousness of the growing number of stateless peoples around the world, who are thrust into the public space without nationality, documents, or rights.” -Anthony Hassett