When a doctor attends to the sick, she is dutifully fulfilling a role. After, she would expect for her effort to be acknowledged, assessed, and compensated. This is not the case when a poet pulls out a piece of paper and spends hours on end putting words together and pulling them apart. Seldom is the case that somebody else is waiting to be affected by that specific poem. However, this seemingly detached endeavor—art—has potentially tremendous impact and importance in zones of conflict and elsewhere. Art exists wherever humans existed.
Emna Zghal is a Tunisian-born, U.S.-based visual artist. Her work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions in the United States, Tunisia, and beyond. Zghal has received fellowship residencies and completed projects with: the Women’s Studio Workshop, the Newark Art Museum, the MacDowell Colony, the Weir Farm Trust, and the Cité Internationale Des Arts in Paris. Reviews of her work have appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Artforum, ARTnews, The New Yorker, in addition to many Tunisian publications. Her portfolio of prints, The Prophet of Black Folk, about the 9th Century African slave revolt in Iraq was acquired by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, NYC. Other works are part the New York Public Library, Yale University, The Museum For African Art in New York, Grinnell College, and numerous other public and private collections in the U.S. and Tunisia. Emna has taught at Grinnell College, Purchase College, and Parsons New School of Design.