Seven Seas Without

I graduated with an MFA in Photography from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2011. My written thesis includes discussions on the works I created while I was there, as well as influences I recognized at the time. My work stemmed from a diasporic experience and came at a time when I had spent nearly equal amounts of time in Pakistan and North America.


In my work I explore dislocation within a diasporic experience. I use personal and familial accounts of migration, assimilation and reverse culture shock to examine and add to the collective narratives that underlie national as well as individual identities. In reconciling my own sense of loss in having moved away from Pakistan, I appropriate histories, recreate memories and envision futures to mould the present. Investigations of personal experiences inform an analysis of the larger social, political and historical contexts. In my practice I use video, animation and new media technologies to “re-view” archives. My sources include audio and text from political speeches, photographs and videos that I have found and created, as well as writings and poetry I have collected
and produced. My written thesis, divided into three sections, offers the layers through which I process my subject matter. In the first section, “Formulating Nations, Forcing Identities,” I examine the inabilities of an archive, whether historical accounts or photographic depictions, to ever be complete. The second section, “Rubato: Found Time,” addresses my formal choices within time-based mediums to articulate the fragility of personal recollections. Finally, “Endless Tihai” consists of my writings and poetry, which are often the seed for my visual work.
A digital version of my thesis can be accessed via the Digital Commons at RISD with the link below.