Creative Process of "Be, Longing and Never Home"
My latest piece "Be, Longing and Never Home" was inspired by my longing for a connection to the land that my ancestors once thrived in, survived on, and were eventually displaced from.
I wanted this piece to include elements that represent my own personal life and touch on the collective experience of those who were displaced during al-nakbah (the catastrophe) in 1948.
My creative process started by conducting a search for media and materials that were relevant to Palestine. My Godmother, an Iraqi-born Palestinian was the first person I thought of. I was seeking to use images and collected items from her archives because her family, based in Jerusalem has collections of historical documents, family photos, money, and stamps. I spent a few hours searching with her for these various items.
A wave hit me when I found two versions of this stamp that documents the Deir Yassin Massacre. There is an immense privilege of holding a piece of material that freezes a tragic and historical moment in time while admiring the stamp's artwork. Another wave hits… when I read يافا (Jaffa) this is where my family lived and 9-4-1948 (April 9, 1948) the day of the massacre - the same day my Palestinian ex was born. It all felt surreal - the coincidences and the dates, as I have an affinity for numbers and symbolism always encompasses my works.
I decided to leave these elements in my work, as they represent different traumas and tragedies, both collectively endured and personally connected.