Visual / Sound / Text    |    CV 

Ajnabi Milan | Performance, Sequins, Digital Print, 2019 

Ajnabi Milan (Strangers' Union) is an intervention in the form of a surrealist/situationist procession of SWANA (South West Asia North Africa) diaspora with a message addressing alienation and inclusivity. The term alien refers to something unlike ourselves, whether a martian or a refugee. By emphasizing our alienness and our strangeness, we hope to leave a poetic impression and disruption on the every day in the unreal environment of Hollywood in Los Angeles though which we will be marching. We will begin at a freeway overpass with sequin signs that include a verse from the Bible, "I was a stranger and you welcomed me", spoken by Jesus to his disciples - an apt phrase and message of resistance in this moment in our political history of borders, walls, bans, and right wing exclusions. These signs will be printed in English and my native language Urdu, manufactured in a typical advertising process used in sequin billboards but subverting the usual message of consumption conveyed in this medium. Clothed in silver with silver face veils, we will march like a mirage of strangers from the freeway to the LACE gallery, where the signs will then be installed as the final phase of the performance. During the procession, we were accompanied by a live drummer playing percussive protest rhythms from South Asia. The performers included Amitis Motevalli, Anuradha Vikram, Azeem Khan, Asiya Mir, Hushidar Mortezaie, Khushboo Gulati, Maryam Hosseinzadeh, Perwana Nazif, Sasha Ali, and Shirin Guirguis. Music included selections by Discostan and sections of a mixtape by the Sand Ninja. Mask fabricated by Hushidar Mortezaie.