Ashar (pronounced Usher) Mobeen is pursuing a PhD in art and visual culture at the University of Western Ontario. His research investigates the manifestation of comprehensive astronomical understanding in the art and architecture of ancient and Indigenous civilizations. By reconstructing the cosmic perspectives of these societies through their art and conjoining his findings with modern scientific understanding and worldviews, Ashar believes that he could potentially offer answers to questions that we continue to ponder as a civilization: Who are we? Where do we come from? Where are we going?
Ultimately, Ashar hopes that his research can address the need for a post-humanist perspective, counter to the mandates of anthropocentric hubris and its imprisonment within binary power dynamics. In the face of catastrophes such as climate change, rising food insecurity, and collapse of ecosystems and biodiversity, he contends it is critical to re-evaluate not only our position in the cosmos but also with respect to the very land we call home. We are the only ones that can save us from ourselves, so let us stand together, protect, and cherish our planet.
Banner image: Festival Theatre Garden, Niagara-on-the-Lake. © Mobeen Photography, 2022.