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wherever you are is called Here


wherever you are is called Here (non-flags/counter-flags/anti-flags)


Screen print and weaving on rice bags

Twelve non-flags (14 x 25 in. each)

This project reimagines the symbolism of flags and its relationship to place and home for immigrant, displaced, and exiled communities. These are counter-flags created from rice bags, woven maps, photos, and stories of home from my grandmother. As we sewed the rice bags, I recorded my grandmother’s stories of forced migration from India to Pakistan during the 1947 Partition and later to the U.S. The audio is played in the gallery along with the installation. Woven into the rice bags are maps and images of places encountered and remembered, real and imagined: from state lines and zip codes in the U.S. to the border of India and Pakistan. Interwoven and layered, these maps, places, and borders become faded and pixelated—alluding to rhythmic uncertainties of geography in relation to home. While the material and weaving techniques pay homage to my ancestral history of rice farming and rituals, the form and content symbolically subvert hyper-nationalism. 

Photos by Adam Bencomo


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