Undergraduate, Visual Art Studies
video + installation:
silk fabric, foam core, plastic boat, caution tape
As Syrian-American, when someone mentions “invasive species”, I do not initially think of plants, nor animals, nor the environment. Instead, my thought process finds itself enveloped in humankind, how we treat one another, and how we form nations that dictate who has the right to habitance. I find it hypocritical that our culture right now in the United States seems obsessed with this “invasive species”, be they dreamers or refugees, claiming that they take “our” jobs or bring terrorism to “our” land - when this nation was founded on colonizers from Europe coming in and forcefully taking what was not theirs. We give respect and agency to the genocide, disease, and rape perpetrated by the pilgrims and their mayflower, while we villainize immigrant families hoping for a better life here today. Using video projection and a cube structure, I aim to deconstruct this American myth of place and ownership. I take a one dimensional construct of who we are as a nation, and offer multiple perspectives for viewership with the three-dimensional object: a lifeform uprooted, a mapping of the indigenous people and their scattering at the time of colonization, a series of questions, a boat blocked from entry, and an image of ourselves.