I was born in Iraq, now living in Norway for 15 years. My cultural mix gives me the ability to act as cultural decoder between the Arab and Norwegian culture. The interesting part is when human skin meets architecture, and where its created an experience. This can be done physically and visually. Having an understanding of two cultures, creates a fetich trying to put together two different worlds, and the fun that comes within that.
Behind the carpet
The design of an persian carpet brings up my story as an arab-norwegian woman that gets judged both from the arab culture in Norway and the norwegians. It shows the expectantions that people have to those who belong to the bi-culture. In this case - the bi-culture does not feel 100% belonging to the norwegian culture nor the arabic culture. The creation of the new culture is beautiful, but needs space for exploration and not puched into different costumes.
With this persian carpet I am addressing the prejudments that I personaly get from both cultures living in Norway.
The carpet is the result of my inner struggle to fight prejudgment and expectations:
In the senter of the carpet it says:
"They told me"
Furthermore it says:
"You are Arab"
"You are Norwegian"
Other statements, received is spread beyond the carpet, to make you discover more layers:
"You have attractive foreign looks."
"Hang out with people who are more like you?"
"Do not lose your Arabic identity"
"Have you been norwegianised?"
"He's a boy and can do such, not you"
"Why can´t you move out your parents house?"
"If we die tomorrow, I feel I have lived a happier life then you because of your religion"
"Are you allowed to use Tinder?"
"Oh, you're different than I thought?"
"You can not take off the hijab, people are going to talk."
"She has lost her roots."
"She takes the night bus home, has she become Norwegian?"
"You have the potential, why don´t you become a doctor or a lawyer?"
"I want you to make us proud"
"Dress up decently, it's not in our culture to show skin."