My current body of work is an extension of my previous research, however its primary focus is to excavate the plethora of forced divisions, social barriers, “no entry, no exit zones” and refugee diaspora experiencing make shift existence on the peripheries of alien territories. My exploration particularly focuses on the historical aspects of World War 2 in nexus to present world geopolitical scenarios; the Middle Eastern conflict fuelling exodus of masses, alteration of individual and collective identity, and the impact of the Berlin Wall on society at large. The research also involves studying the human condition of individuals living the harsh reality of Ilaqa Ghair in Pakistan and offshore detention centers in Australia.
The work has spurred through close interaction and artist workshops with diverse refugee communities from Australia, essentially inspiring me to generate a discourse that underlines an unbiased position. As an artist I feel this body of work is highly significant and relevant to the world we live in today. It addresses some crucial questions regarding the policy of “divisions”, its impact and exploitation of human agency, as well as the fragility and complexity of life through the matrix of power play.
- Mehwish Iqbal