Here and There

I captured my conversations with a young Nigerian asylee Prince Wale Soniyiki in Croatia, where he got asylum, about the memories of his childhood and life in Africa that he was forced to hastily leave behind. In my work I point out how big experiential, national, cultural, social, gender and imaginative differences between Prince and me are in the process of my getting into his inner world. With a subjective interpretation I try to emphasize our differences while being aware of obstacles of getting into his inner world. I balance between Prince's world that exists as his memory which he transfers to me through learned words of a foreign language and my world through which I try to visualize his memories. I create a new visual interpretation of his life and memories. I try to connect two worlds and to show the impossibility of complete understanding of two individuals especially those two coming from completely different parts of the world. I try to illustrate the fact that you cannot define where the Other starts and begins. I eliminated Prince’s immediate presence so I can only have his artificially constructed gaze that is actually not only his but also ours. Prince's words start speaking for himself and become his own form of representation. I see my interpretations of Prince's memories and thoughts as a desire for recognition in the Other. By acknowledging Prince as my Other I can admit to myself my own purpose. He becomes a part of my identity.

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