Take Care of Yourself with Sundus Abdul Hadi


In her book, Take Care of Your Self, artist and curator Sundus Abdul Hadi writes about her practice of “careful curation.” Sundus identifies care as a “necessary” practice—rooted in self, community, and in the collective process of decolonization. In her collaborative curatorial initiative, “Take Care of Your Self,” she involved 27 BIPOC artists who participated in a week-long exhibit in Montreal. She convened the exhibit and a series of encounters to put the artists in conversation and to address trauma, intergenerational struggle and resilience. For Sundus, the collaborative method of careful curation is a means to confront and undo systemic oppression and trauma. She uses her art and her practice of careful curation to cultivate transcultural solidarity, to foster collective spaces and to build regenerative narratives.  


February 10th, 2021

In this presentation Sundus Abdul Hadi discusses her book and collaborative curatorial initiative, “Take Care of Your Self” that involved 27 BIPOC artists who participated in a week long exhibit in a pop-up gallery in Montreal. Sundus explains her method of careful curation, an approach that centers care as key to the process of de-colonizing. She speaks to the challenge of transforming the show and her MA thesis into a book. In the book, Sundus describes her decision to replace words such as marginalized, racialized, or colonized with her own term “deeply rooted” to describe communities or individuals whose lives and practices are “rooted in ancient knowledges that colonization has attempted to repress.”



Sundus Abdul Hadi is an artist and writer of Iraqi origin. She was raised and educated in Tiohtià:ke/Montréal, where she earned a BFA in Studio Arts and Art History and a MA in Media Studies. Articulated through her artistic practice, writing and curation, Sundus’ work is a sensitive reflection on trauma, struggle, and care. She is the author/illustrator of Shams, a children’s book about trauma, transformation and healing. Her upcoming book titled “Take Care of Your Self: The Art and Cultures of Care and Liberation” (Common Notions, November 2020) is a non-fiction book about care, curation and community.  She is the cofounder of We Are The Medium, an artist collective and culture point. 

Abdul Hadi’s work has been exhibited in Palestine, Canada, United States, United Arab Emirates, France, United Kingdom and New Zealand. She has given workshops in Australia, Iraq and Kuwait, and has been a speaker at Nuqat (Kuwait), the Nobel Peace Prize Forum, Telfair Museums in Savannah, GA, the Aga Khan Museum and multiple universities in Canada and the US. Abdul Hadi is a two-time recipient of the Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Quebec (CALQ) Vivacite grant, and received the Makers Muse award from Kindle Project (2018). Her work is part of the Barjeel Art Foundation collection.