Promised Lands

Throughout the history, many of the people from the war-torn lands have been forced to leave their homeland without being able to ever go back. Today the image of these land-less bodies that belong to nowhere is more constant than ever. People who seek security and escape from violence and war to other countries, but at the end, they find themselves in even worse situations. Refugee Camps. Supposedly temporary places that most of the time turn to where they spend rest of their lives.

As a woman, I think the most about women who go through all this and endure deeply suffering situations. Most of them come from countries that violence against them is an everyday routine. By seeking refuge in other places they try to get away from those conditions but what they face in the camps are sexual assaults, harsh living conditions.

Based on research on two of the main camps in the middle east I have been making still-life photographs while thinking about these dislocated bodies and the fact that they never belong to any place. Still-life genre was considered as the lowest respected genre in painting for a long time and it was the only one that women were allowed to paint since they didn’t need to leave their houses. I use plants indigenous to the lands where these camps exist. Al-Markazi Camp in Djibouti and Zaatari Camp in Jordan. In both of these countries, many of plant species are in danger due to environmental hazards and most of them are plants that can survive poor soil and harsh conditions.  I either grow these plants in my studio or buy fakes or dried versions. The vases I use are handmade and inspired by the traditional clay works of those countries. For me, these pots are a symbol of those camps. And the plants that I arrange in them, those dislocated bodies and have to adapt to a new container without being planted and growing roots.