an art and poetry collaboration with Moitreyee Chowdhury
Moitreyee and I are both migrants who have lived in many different places. We came together in Palo Alto to collaborate on this project about refugees. Both of us are artists who have lived in many different countries and we could not ignore the news that the world was on the move. This is the greatest movement of people since WWII; we wanted to address both the tragedy and the possibilities of this shifting world. At first we were overwhelmed by the enormity of the crisis; we put to discuss how we would approach the subject together.
Moitreyee found the key in an individual story among the multitude. In her research, Moitreyee came across a story on the Guardian website. She was particularly moved by a man who was wearing his wife's shoes. When I arrived at this place, I was very much affected by this glimpse of their story. We took this man and his wife as our starting point, an individual story of love and struggle in a flood of moving faces and narratives. Europe is taking on a new layer of people. This is a huge population shift in history. How we react to it? We wanted to show shifting landscapes and stories that tessellate into something entirely new. We wanted to capture the excitement of the moment as well as the tragedy. My story and paintings of a metamorphosis and a drama of a metamorphosis into our lives. Something entirely new in the world is being born.