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Roula Seikaly, Ola El-Khaldi, and Diala Khasawnih


JinJin Fear with Zizi: An Interview with the Rocca Family

[Photo courtesy of Stijn Schiffeleers.]

On 8 November 2016, the American general election ushered in a fascist reality TV personality with no political experience and questionable mental health to the highest office in the land. Two days later, an evening at The Lab–San Francisco’s premier performance art venue–provided an opportunity to gather with others who are rightly wary (read: “terrified beyond the capacity for rational thought,” to quote Ghostbusters) of what the next four years hold in store for the ...

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The Rocca Family Project is made up of Ola El-Khaldi and Diala Khasawnih along with Rocca the cat, their practice has been formed since the collective moved to San Francisco in 2010 from Jordan. Their work is very much affected by the multiple home geographies of their lives. Through conversation, food, performance, painting, and print, the group examines family, home, love, and the point of life. They have participated in venues and events in the Bay Area, New York, Vancouver, and Buenos Aires, including OMCA, Fillip Magazine, Flux factory, CIIS and informal spaces and in friends homes. 

Ola El-Khaldi: Arts collaborator and curator, Ola is the founder of Makan art space in Amman, Jordan (2003-2015). She is the editor of the anthology “Shahenda: On Smoking” that will be released in Spring 2017. She is currently researching the Jerusalem replicas in the US while she is on the road. She continues to wonder and examine notions of intimacy and love. Ola holds an MA in Curatorial Practice from California College of the Arts (2012) and an MSc in management from the University of Surrey (1998).

Diala Khasawnih: With an uncompleted degree in architecture, Diala uses her art practice to look at human ways. Born (1975) and raised in the city of Amman, it is hard to cope with the heartbreak that comes from being a part of a people trying hard to move beyond colonization, but she continues to hold onto hope+anger. 

Roula Seikaly is an arts writer and independent curator based in San Francisco.