Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
When a dislocation of any type occurs, whether geographical, emotional, or spiritual, the disorder pushes the self to retreat to safety. For me, that safety is in my body. It is in this place of retreat where I locate my original home.
In this space of translocation, I forage for materials from my surroundings and places that I belong to. Moving between Dubai, Damascus, Beirut, and Providence, I shape a reality dependent on what is available. I then transform these materials, searching for the forms and relationships that emerge while meditating on home and the body as a moving vessel and container for attachments.
My work involves various modes of reflection through making. Drawings help with understanding experiences, while foraging and assemblage are the physical structures that embody narratives, histories, realities, and memory. Recorded sounds register localities and spaces. I am interested in documenting the shifts, transitions, challenges, and resolutions as they occur, whether in the work or in myself.
I am centering beauty as a form of hope, rather than the pervasive violence and pain that follows the bodies of people from the Levant diaspora. Hope exists in the new generation that escaped the holds of the greatest burden, carrying the legacy and memory of our parents and ancestors through time and place.
Two questions emerge: How do we locate ourselves? How is memory of the homeland imprinted on the body?
Smadi, Malda, "A body finding freedom within itself" (2023). Masters Theses. 1142.
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