MAryam Touzani                                                                           



fill in the gaps where words fall short

‘’It is odd, but only deep in the mountains, on the crest of a hill where my grandmother's hometown is located. Whereas for women like me, their lives end at the front porch door. Every time I go there, the guilt returns. But I am not them and not from there; I can almost reach for the clouds. Because I am so small in this place. If only I had been born there, everything would have been easier..‘’

The starting point of this project stems from the frustration of the feelings of (dis)placement. There is an Arabic word الغربة (pronounced Al-Ghorba) that can be translated as being 'away from home.' Moroccan immigrants often use it to express their feeling of estrangement mixed with nostalgia. I grew up listening to stories of departures and people leaving home searching for a better future. Moroccans in Europe bear a double burden. They have suffered racism, bigotry, and Islamophobia since childhood. And still: we try to juggle between finding a place of belonging in our birth countries without discarding our heritage.

Embracing your culture and heritage can be conflicting when it's fraught with tensions between loving the country you are born and raised in. Since its invention, photography has been conceived as an extension of human perception, a tool to sample evidence to search for traces. The camera breaks down and stops time for a particular moment. By pointing the camera towards 'home' as a third-generation migrant it searches thechallenges of displacements. By immersing myself in this atmosphere, I use the significance of my familial roots and how they connect with the Dutch society. 

It challenges the notion of being regarded only as a migrant through the prism of the dominant culture. By questioning myself and my experiences on my own terms, I hope to move away from simplistic narratives and instead depict the complexities and nuances of migrant identities. Through symbols, text, and image collages, a poetic approach emerges to entangle these issues. My aim with the project is not to tell that this is the diasporic identity or to provide a linear story. But to take the viewer on a journey without clear answers but instead ambiguous questions.