Al-Ani’s practice is a diverse one, but a few common themes and strategies stand out. She tackles the issues of conflict, loss and displacement, but in an allegorical mode, setting up theatrical situations in which personal traumas take on a broader historical resonance. She repeatedly implicates her audience, turning the experience of viewing into a reflexive and occasionally uncomfortable one. That is not to say that her work is austere or sermonising. It offers an array of sensory and intellectual pleasures, but those pleasures are made contingent on the viewer’s awareness of his or her own occasionally compromised position in her dramas.