This AD100 Honoree’s Rug Is a Container for Memory


What makes a purchase “worth it”? The answer is different for everybody, so we’re asking some of the coolest, most shopping-savvy people we know—from small-business owners to designers, artists, and actors—to tell us the story behind one of their most prized possessions.

Who?

Amid the eclectic synergy of Bushwick, ceramist Dina Nur Satti invokes memory as a creative act. Inspired by her Sudanese and Somali ancestry, Dina’s artistry is a manifesto on cultural preservation—one that features clay vessels reminiscent of Sudano-Sahelian architecture, and the intricate craftsmanship at Academie des Beaux-Arts in Kinshasa. It’s not surprising that the ceramics artist has garnered coverage in Vogue, a ceramics residency at Saint Heron (Solange Knowles’s creative agency), and most recently an AD100 honor. Through clay, Dina explores the many different worlds that inform her identity, and examines her upbringing as a child in the post colonial era.

The artist’s roots stretch back to Nubian farmers in Aswan and Dongola, harvesting wheat and dates alongside the Nile. These ancestors, Dina tells us, remained on their land for several generations. Born in Chad, Dina first spent her childhood in Belgium, then France, and Kenya due to her father’s job in cultural preservation for the United Nations. Her work explores the duality of identity by centering themes of decolonization, grief, cultural loss, and land loss.

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Dina sits on the Raishada rug with a tea set and her Burnish red clay vessel in the background.

Photographer: Dina Nur Satti

The foundation of Dina’s craft is embedded in curiosity. Upon earning her degree in international intercultural studies, she spent seven years working in fundraising and development, while embarking on a series of art courses that led to her first ceramics class. She sums up her introduction to the art form as a moment of remembering. “It’s something that most people’s ancestors have done, so it’s a practice that’s deeply therapeutic,” she says amid our discussion of epigenetics, a study of how behaviors and environment can affect the way genes work. “When I teach classes, a lot of the time people feel like it’s something that they’ve experienced. They say trauma is passed down but it’s also your gifts, and your memories.” This desire for collective memory embodies not only Dina’s artistic practice, but the way she curates her living space.

What

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Dina bought her Rashaida rug at the Omdurman market in Sudan.

Photographer: Dina Nur Satti



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