How do I look on paper? (Jasmine tree)

Medium: Interactive installation

Description: ‘How do I look on paper’ is a critical project that rejects evaluating people based on their write-ups and documents. In the process of applying for visas, exhibitions, residencies, jobs or immigration, you are judged based on how you appear to be on paper. Whoever processes your documents does not know you as a person. They do not know your history, likes, dislikes and they certainly do not identify with you as an individual; your whole life is reduced to a pile of paper and your future is decided upon it. My project comprises producing a series of interactive works based on told stories. The first object I created in my series is the interactive jasmine tree; it is derived from a narrative that is a part of my memory and has never been documented. Using sensors that detect the movement of the public around or towards the natural jasmine tree, the attached motors provide movement to the branches towards the viewers.


The Jasmine tree piece, stems from the following narrative,



How do I look on paper?


My dad named me after a pretty Iraqi neighbor that him and my mom had in a hostel in Evelyn Gardens in London… Did you see how flat my curls are in the morning after a good night sleep? I don’t like ripe fruit… Have you met my niece? I’m sure you’d remember her if you did; when you do, ask her to sing you a song! I got my short sight from my mom and so did my brother, I don’t wear glasses anymore, I got my sight corrected…I used to love reading, I stopped reading since the revolution happened…When I was little, we had this house around the corner with a jasmine tree leaning over its fence. On our way to the nursery, my dad would stop by and pick me up some jasmines; I’d keep them in my hand all day until the petals turn yellow and my hand smells of jasmine.



Realized at:


2018    Railway City Arts Crawl. Curated by Sandra Poczobut. St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada

2017   Lagos Biennale. 1st edition. Curated by Folakunle Oshun. Lagos, Nigeria

2017   Openhaus as part of the Artist in Residency programme. Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik (ZK/U,) Berlin,  Germany