Time the Unspeakable


Sana Musasama

"Unspeakable," a ceramics exhibit by Sana Musasama, is on display through Feb. 22.

Artist to discuss creating art from challenging human stories 

Sana Musasama, associate adjunct professor in studio art, Hunter College, will present the Bluffton University Forum, “Time the Unspeakable,” at 11 a.m. on Feb. 5 in Yoder Recital Hall.

During Forum, the award-winning ceramics artist will describe the relationship between her sculptures and the challenging human stories encountered in her global travels. Her “Unspeakable,” showing in Bluffton’s Grace Albrecht Gallery through Feb. 22, features a collection of ceramic mixed-media pieces that pose an inquiry into the nature of violence and healing in women’s lives.

A reception for the artist will be held from 1:30-3 p.m. also on Feb. 5.

Musasama shares this story of the inspiration for the art: “Twenty-five years ago, while living in Mendeland, Sierra Leone, there was a group of young girls, ages 10-15, who would visit my hut every day. We began our rituals of sisterhood: they combed my hair, tried on my clothing and applied my makeup. They taught me the formal greetings in Mende, how to sit like a Mende woman, eat with my tongue and never allow food to touch my lips. They showed me how to cook on three rocks and wash my clothes in the river. They taught me the birth chants, and I learned too soon, to recognize the death song. Suddenly, one morning there were no young girls in the village. They returned 13 weeks later, changed. Our ritual of sisterhood was no more. They no longer had the sparkle of wonderment in their eyes; they weren’t carefree young girls any longer. They didn’t want to have anything to do with me. I could not understand. I know now they had been circumcised.”

Gallery hours in the Sauder Visual Arts Center are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 1-5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

- Aubrey Bartel, public relations student assistant