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From Avoidance to Resistance:
Exploring the Role of the ‘Bubble’ through Narrative Practices

Collaboration with Zain Al Sharaf Wahbeh,

Facilitated by Naqd Critique

Curated by Dania Al Tamimi


Full Text

Amidst the perpetual injustices and tyrannical power structures that oppress our communities and stifle their rights to exist and express, is a constellation of often-colliding bubbles that govern each individual’s processing, avoidance, or resistance against the most brutal realities that surround us, up close and from afar. Uniquely, each bubble contributes a distinct function with a distinct influence over how we make sense of our wider socio-political and cultural contexts. Whether it functions as a source of distraction or empowerment, the ‘bubble’ offers a versatile facet of individuality that is worth unpacking.

The following exploration was initiated by two artistic researchers who have been paired through Naqd Critique’s open call for collaboration. One is of Palestinian descent, who was born in Jordan, grew up in the United Arab Emirates, and moved to the United Kingdom to pursue her studies in Architecture. The other is of Iranian descent, who was born and raised in Iran, and subsequently moved to Poland, and then Sweden to pursue her career and studies in Fine Arts. Despite glaring differences in upbringing, core beliefs, and academic backgrounds, our initial conversations revealed intersections in socio-political interests and aspirations that defined our individual and mutual understandings of the ‘bubble’, given the current geopolitical contexts that we live in today.

On a spectrum of privileged naivety to direct confrontation, the filtering and empowering capacities of the ‘bubble’ were, therefore, closely explored through interdisciplinary film, narration, and textual practices. In these conceptions, we endeavored to create multiple dialogues between our respective interpretations of our bubbles. Further to this, we sought artistic ways to represent moments of reconciliation or contention with surrounding events and bubbles that carry opposing viewpoints and analytical frameworks.