My collaborator for Cartographies of Loss, Soheila Ghaussy, is a writer whose work speaks of the loss of freedom for Afghani women due to political intolerance and male authority. The veil became a mandated covering which removes the identity of a woman. Hair as a symbol of power and personal and sexual identity is removed by the veil. This series, Veil, serves as a gesture of re-empowerment for Afghani women.
Series of six collograph prints
48” x 22” on paper
Tent (burlap, poles, rocks, rope), 2 projected videos, 2 audio sources, text mounted on wall. An installation at the Maryland Institute of Art, 2016.
A collaboration with poet/writer Soheila Ghaussy who wrote a collection of poems and vignettes using Afghani women’s voices.
“The German philosopher Theodor Adorno writes, 'to consider suffering is the condition for truth.' In our collaborative installation, Katherine Kavanaugh and I are exploring the possibilities of visualizing such truth by making available to audiences ways of interacting --both spatially and in a tactile manner -- with the experience of being uprooted from one’s homeland, what it means to have little to no escape from war and poverty, and what it means to engage with suffering when one is living in peace and comfort. We ask ourselves in (and with) our installation how we can transcribe these experiences into visual terms so that the loss of others can lead to empathy and a better understanding of the humanity that binds us.
Our installation is based on my book manuscript, a collection of poems and vignettes, in which I describe my experience as a “third culture” woman living in the West as it maps the losses of Afghanistan’s women by allowing them to speak about their lives, their joys and grief, their experiences as women in a highly patriarchal society and as disenfranchised individuals. When we performed excerpts from the collection at MICA in December 2013, it quickly became clear that the collection had great potential for a visual piece that would position audiences actively into the circumstances described by the poems rather than allowing them to remain mere passive listeners.”