This is the piece by Shadi Al Zaqzouq
(a Palestinian) that stopped me in my tracks in Dismaland. I stood silent on my own for a few minutes, staring and processing the power of this oil painting mounted in a tire. I explained what the piece said to friends I had gone with, and others standing close by overheard and became intrigued; realising what the true meaning of the painting was about. The writing on the underwear the unidentifiable bruised and battered girl is holding up, says “get away from me” aimed at a male pronoun.
The power this piece had; with such a simple way of portraying it, is what has really inspired me to do the same thing in my work this year. I want to make people think and FEEL something. I want them to know the truth.
When thinking about the theme of the project that was set for us; time, a thought popped up into my head about change. I always seem to gravitate to the idea of change. Growing up in and Arab county, despite being classed British and Greek and going to an international school, has made me accepting of change. See, being in an international school people come and go constantly, and you become somewhat used to and less sensitive to the pain that comes with letting go of someone. Although it is always hard, knowing that that person is still well, healthy, and just moving on with their lives makes it okay and easier to cope with (plus it’s damn great having friends all over the world.)
However, living in the Middle East comes with a big reality of poverty, hardship, loss and especially conflict. Although Jordan (where I was born and raised and where my family still live), is a safe and ‘conflict free’ area in comparison to our sistering countries; issues still arise. Moving to the UK made me realise how different life is here. While watching the news here one day, a story about the Middle East and the Arab Spring was mentioned. Having lived there all my life,I realised that what the news casters were saying was actually far from the truth and extremely misleading. The situation within the surrounding countries of Jordan where conflict was occurring, being Egypt, Lebanon, Israel and Palestine, and not to mention Syria; was getting pretty bad. However there were never any bomb attack threats to Jordan, or any threats of any kind of conflict for that matter. In a way Jordan has always been known as the ‘safe haven’ and peace land between it all. The media had made Jordan to be an extremely dangerous and hostile place to live or even visit, which in tern has had a massive effect on our lives there as a consequence. This made me furious and made me think about the reactions and shock from people here when I told them about what Jordan was really like. This is what made me decide to relate my work to this theme, and I became more and more fascinated by the idea of how peoples perceptions of things can change dramatically over time. Continue reading Time & Change →