Why I'm working on Roots Guide: My aunt Tante Lenie, a Dutch artist, told me stories about her country in broken Arabic while teaching me how to draw. As a kid in Cairo, she drew an image in my mind of a distant land of windmills and cows. When I was invited to the Netherlands for the Roots Guide project in 2016, I was drawn to how the Netherlands is historically and socially connected to the rest of the world; it’s not a distant land after all. Realising the inter-connectivity of the world, Roots Guide became a reflective journey to process my past experiences and search for home and belonging. As a Muslim North African woman who lived in the U.S during 9/11 and an active participant during the Egyptian revolution, my experiences has led me to live and witness different levels of discrimination, misrepresentation and isolation. Which made me wonder what is the meaning of home? In places? In memories? In people? Or is it in ourselves and our stories of space and time?
Showcased are samples from different stories in the project and some examples of an early dummy book.
Roots Guide: Stories of the Netherlands is in collaboration between Ingi Mehus (co-writer/storytelling coach), Daan Wurpel (co-writer/translator), Hamzah Kashash (designer), Meghann Ormond (curator) and Rehab Eldalil (photographer/visual storyteller). The project is under the legal umbrella of Stichting Pocket Stories.
Partners: The European Cultural Foundation
Roots Guide is partly sponsored by National Geographic Society