As I’m reaching the end of my residency, I wanted to give you a recap and a progress report.
First of all, I can’t believe how fast this month has gone by. It’s weird to think of how external events alter our perception of time. At the start of the pandemic, everyone was online bemoaning how March 2020 seemed to last forever, while in contrast, April 2020 flew by. Our collectively warped perception of time has had a profound impact on how I approach my work and how I’m building this project.
I want my book to measure time as chaotically as we do, using texts that travel back and forth between past and present, and images that reflect as much the past as they do our current time. While I don’t think any of us can say for certain what our future will look like, I’d like to hope that a thorough understanding of where we’re coming from can help us carve the path of where we’d like to go.
Below are some newer text excerpts as well as some layouts.
On August 14, 2020, the New York Times runs an article in which we learn that Greece has sent at least 1,072 asylum seekers back to the sea. A few months later, Denmark announces it has stripped asylum seekers of their permanent residence deeming Damascus “safe” to return to. I am at a loss as to where to scatter the ashes of rage towards a Mediterranean that has swallowed countless bodies born wrong.
I’m briefly back for the holidays on what will turn out to be the last year I get to see you. M and I go for an hour-long walk and decide to get coffee at Younes after whittling the afternoon away. And as the sun was quickly setting, flooding the city with shades of yellow, orange, and gold , a deranged cab driver picks us up from the corniche. We’re sharing the ride with two Iraqi women. The radio static keeps breaking up, melding Ruby’s voice with the incessant surrounding honking. For the entire fifteen minutes, the driver spits slurs at the women and calls me a foreign spy.
This project still has a long way to go, but I’m grateful to have had this month to make strides with regards to honing my vision, and slowly build this book.