My work as a multimedia/interdisciplinary artist, diasporic scholar, and community activist are interconnected components that find their way into my teaching. Indeed, my pedagogy – which reflects a career-long commitment to multiple disciplinary spaces and engagement with diverse geographic places – is rooted in the idea that knowledge acquisition involves the creative process. I believe the classroom is a fertile environment for leadership skills, critical thinking, personal and interpersonal development, and a communication tool to help students tap into a sense of purpose in the larger world. I encourage my students to consider themselves as artists in my classroom. As artists, their creativity can give rise to a critical consciousness where they become agents of change who can respond and shape the world they live in instead of merely functioning and adapting to it. That’s why I also urge my students to take their work and ideas outside my classroom, exploring ways to creatively engage public spaces outside of the classroom environment.
Not only do I try to instill in my students an individualized artistic sensibility; I endeavor in my classes to mentor and create a community of artists. Such community-building takes the form of group assignments, which offer students a chance to participate and engage with classmates and find commonalities through guided and active cooperation. I also connect students to diverse communities by accessing my extensive networks as an artist/activist; I frequently bring local, national, and international speakers into direct conversation with my students via in-person visits and SKYPE interviews. Such pedagogical “community organizing” is not limited to the classroom; I engage my students via other contexts by organizing fieldtrips to local museums, artists’ studios, and urban/rural sites in order to show them the possibilities of local activism and, depending on the venue, the impacts of larger forces such as globalization and migration. Again, the classroom is a portal to connect my students with larger struggles and experiences beyond campus walls.
Finally, integral to my arts pedagogy is fostering a sense of spontaneity, improvisation, and creative risk taking. Inside the classroom, we engage in micro-workshops where the classroom is transformed into reimagined spaces for creative engagement. Sometimes chairs and tables are pushed aside to better adapt the room to movement and improvisational exercises. These micro-workshops range from physical calisthenics that boost energies to vocal drills that prepare them to speak out loud, to group memory exercises that activate laughter, joy, and nostalgia. Drawing on my experiences as a movement artist and performer, my teaching methodology acknowledges the body as a catalyst to inspire questions, content, and composition. My classroom becomes a portal for critical engagement whereby students can creatively transform “heavy” abstract concepts into their own personal stakes. I, then, urge students to take creative risks by stepping outside their comfort zones and push them towards experimenting with forms, mediums, and ideas that open them to new possibilities of expression and conceptualization. By allowing students to find conceptual relevance through a creative catalyst, meaning is generated in their own language and within their worldview. My courses always extend beyond the classroom walls, as students utilize their bodies to engage in personal, political, and cultural issues that reflect an urgency within the contemporary moment.
Recent Courses Taught
BISIA 383 Global Agitation: Art & Activism
BISCLA 380 Contemporary ‘Muslim’ Artists
BISIA 383 Performing Diaspora
BISCLA 380 Southeast Asian Hip-Hop and Urban Arts
How can we engage in storytelling that moves people towards claiming their stake in the world? How can narrative works relocate and redefine the peripheral as a place for engagement? Can limitations be turned into the aesthetic basis for powerful works of art? These questions serve as the critical research framework for much of my artistic works. I believe merely expressing the human condition is not enough. Expression must be combined with engagement to fuel public discourse on critical social issues.
As an artist, my role is to ask questions and offer an experience that challenges people to think just a little deeper. Through my performances, I offer not only a way of seeing but also a way of experiencing ideas. I utilize an interdisciplinary approach to artmaking. My installation and performance works investigate the artistic, spiritual, and political collisions of a hybrid transnational identity.
Solo Exhibitions & Performances (selected)
The Red Chador: Brigade of 99 at OZAsia Festival (Adelaide, Australia) Sept 20 – 25, 2017
The Buddhist Bug, Kaunas in Art Festival (Kaunas, Lithuania) Sept 23 – Oct 30, 2016
The Red Chador SF Camerawork (San Francisco, USA) Oct 15, 2016
The Red Chador: Threshold Smithsonian Crosslines Culture Lab (Washington DC) May 27 – 30, 2016
Transcending the In-Between Trinity College Chapel (Hartford, CT, USA) April 6, 2016
The Buddhist Bug: Between Here & There, Brightspace (Melbourne, Australia) Nov 23 – 29, 2015
The Red Chador: What is it you fear? Widener Gallery at Trinity College (CT, USA) Nov 1 – Dec 15 2015
The Red Chador: Beheadings performances, Palais de Tokyo (Paris, France) Apr 19 & 20, 2015
Group Exhibitions & Performances (selected)
Java Retrospective, Flinn Gallery (Greenwich, Connecticut, USA) May 15 – June 15, 2017
High Blood, Spaceworks Gallery (Tacoma, USA) Nov 17 – Dec 15, 2016
Deportation Regime, Center for Art & Migration (Copenhagen, Denmark) Sep 9 – Oct 29, 2016
Love in the Time of War, SF Camerawork (San Francisco, USA) Sept 1 – Oct 15, 2016
Histories of the Future, The National Museum (Phnom Penh, Cambodia) Jul 1 – Aug 30, 2016
Interlace group exhibition, InCube Arts Center (New York, USA) June 10 – June 30, 2016
Dak’art Dakar Biennale (Dakar, Senegal) May 3 – June 2, 2016
1975 group exhibition, University Gallery at U Mass Lowell (MA, USA) Jan 19 – Feb 27, 2016
Asia Pacific Triennial 8, Queensland Art & Gallery of Modern Art Museum (Brisbane, Australia) Nov 2015
Art of ASEAN, Bank Negara Malaysia Museum & Art Gallery (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) Nov 2015
Lille 3000: Renaissance, Hospice Comtesse, (Lille, France) Sept 26, 2015 – Jan 16, 2016
Open Sea, Musée d'art Contemporain (Lyon, France) Apr-Jul 2015
Secret Archipelago, Palais de Tokyo (Paris, France) Mar-May 2015
Fukuoka Asian Art Triennial 5, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum (Fukuoka, Japan) Sep-Nov 2014
Breaking and Reconstructing the Circle, Southeast Asia ArtsFest, Gallery 8, London, UK, November 2014
BudiDaya, Malay Heritage Centre (Singapore) Oct 2014 – Feb 2015
“The Buddhist Bug” Queering Contemporary Asian American Art University of Washington Press, Edited by Laura Kina and Jan Christian Bernabe 2017
O’Hara, Kate. “Anida Yoeu Ali: In The Encounter” Peril.com April 10, 2016
Hutt, David. “Drenched in imagination: Anida Yoeu Ali” Discover Cambodia March 2016.
Ross, Madeleine. “Art’s New Road Map” Hong Kong Tattler July 2015.
Forrest, Nicholas. “8th APT Q&A: Anida Yoeu Ali’s Buddhist Bug” BlouinArtInfo.com Dec 09, 2015
NPR Interview. “Performance Artist Takes on Islamophobia” with Tema Silk. December 11, 2015
Donne, Susanne. “The Red Chador: Trinity Exhibit Chronicles An Artist's Walk Through Hartford” Hartford Courant. Nov 3, 2015
BBC News.” Performance artist's 'Buddhist bug' questions differences” by Ashleigh Nghiem Dec 17, 2014
“Palimpsest for Generation 1.5,” Southeast Asian Women in the Diaspora: Troubling Borders anthology ed. Isabelle Pelaud, Temple Press 2013
Cover Image & Featured works in the book War, Genocide, and Justice: Cambodian American Memory Work by Dr. Cathy Schlunds-Vials, University of Minnesota Press 2012
Montaño, Diana. “Deportee Video Wins Accolades” Phnom Penh Post, Feb 22, 2012