Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
Van Aken, Sam
Child labour, Colonisation, Education, Language, Pakistan, Violence
Art Education | Education
"Colonization" is by far the most sophisticated word for the attempts made to make a society financially broke and culturally orphaned. My work is a product of thoughts that occur in the midst of cultural and linguistic existential crises left by the white man's burden . My focus on Pakistani society goes beyond its relevance as the culture I call home; my focus is intended to provide a microscopic view of how culture, traditions, and norms often work in concert to dictate the course of history and the future of nations. In my work I have used western philosophy to explain eastern phenomena, which not only symbolizes the essences of colonialism but also gives me a platform to decipher the thoughts of my native philosophers as I am unable to understand them due to my estrangement from my native language. Taking Deleuze's idea of rhizomes as my blueprint, I attempt to combine storytelling, qualitative research and narratives to unpack themes of identity, politics, conflict, and artifactual history situated within my artwork. These themes are explored in two ways: first via metaphysics and then by personal narrative. The two are not distant and help navigate one another, like a path through a maze. My work is an attempt to re-evaluate certain activities which are embedded so deeply in my society that they do not strike one as odd. These activities are captured in their daily habitat and displayed in an isolated environment, away from the cultural and social norms which normalize them in the hopes that isolating them may help to reveal the multiple deep-rooted causes that have helped these activities to achieve a normalized status in the Pakistani society. Being labeled as a developing nation, Pakistan offers a striking contrast of the same processes at work in more developed nations. This contrast helps audiences to examine how so many similar social, political, and gender issues develop, exist, and are sustained even beyond their own borders.
Rumi, Ayesha, "Coherence of Dysfunctions" (2021). Theses - ALL. 561.