99 Clay Vessels: The Muslim Women Storytelling Project

99 Clay Vessels: The Muslim Women Storytelling Project is a multimedia art and storytelling project created by Muslim women. We gather stories excluded from national storytelling projects and multi-million dollar memorials. These are stories of Muslim women activists who have experienced and organized against two decades of militarism, bigotry, hate crimes, and unjust government actions in the wake of 9/11. These are also the stories of women upholding justice within their own communities.

After a prolonged experience of anti-Muslim bigotry, potter and multimedia artist Alison Kysia created a series of 99 pinch pots that represent the asma al-husna (the 99 beautiful names of God in Islam). Like each name of God, each pot is unique, with its own shape, size, and fire marks. Together, they symbolize the primordial power of tawhid, the Islamic principle of the diversity of all encapsulated in the One. Crafting the pots was a way for Alison to move through the ordeal she faced and remember the sacred commitment to justice at the core of her faith.

Drawing from the power of the 99 names, this project gathers 9 groups of 11 women to tell their stories. With visual art, vocal recitation, and poetry, the stories will come to life on a website that is an online art exhibition, healing resource, and historical archive. We reframe the historical record while empowering Muslim women on the front lines of social change to give voice to experiences they are enduring, overcoming and transforming, to nourish the work they do now.

Support this Project

We need your support to amplify the stories of Muslim women on the front lines of social change.

How will we use your gift? Funding will support:

  • Storytelling workshops and the creation of digital stories
  • Website development
  • Local and national online and in-person programming
  • Poetry curation and permissions
  • Video production for recitation of 99 Names

To make your gift by credit card today, complete this secure online giving form. If you have any questions about making your gift, call 410-516-3400 or email giving@jhu.edu. When giving online, please select “other” in the area to designate a gift of support. Then type “99 Clay Vessels” in the “Please describe” box.