One Nation Under God

A series of collaged, photographic self-portraits that are displayed in duratrans light boxes, and includes a video performance, “Projections.”

The iconographic image of the American flag takes on multiple roles.  In some places the flag becomes a symbol representing mass cultural identity yet at other times it becomes a part of my personal identity.

In my self-portrait, my face is collaged with Urdu newspaper text from a local Pakistani newspaper. I wear the American flag around my head in the form of a hijab, declaring at the same time my Muslim and my American identity as inseparable.

“One Nation Under God” calls attention to these divisions created after 9/11.  It is a portrait of myself, a person of mixed race. I wrap myself in the colors of the flag so that only my eyes and mouth are visible.  Opposing sides of her face are inscribed with Biblical and Quranic verses about brotherly love. The backdrop behind the wrapped head is a patchwork of faces, like a negative filmstrip juxtaposing Americans with Pakistanis, Muslims with Christians, and men with women, and young with old.  Each person has been interviewed and their words are recorded in a sea of text that flows behind each individual so it almost impossible to clearly define which words belong to which person.  The words humanize the individual; they show us the common thread that we share as people. This pieced is presented, as light box so the text is illuminated from behind, making is very readable, adding visually to the concept.