Concerned but Powerless began in early 2016 as a way for me to process the ongoing presidential election. I had planned to conclude the series on election today, but the outcome of the election and events since have implored me to continue the work. Over time, the series as become increasingly desperate.
While working on this series, I also became a parent, and it made me think a lot about language. My daughter will know America as her only home, making me wonder about the kind of relationship she will have with my place of birth — Pakistan. This past year I also went through the naturalization process to become an American citizen. Both these events made me feel like Urdu might be a lost language in my family moving forward, and the culture I grew up with might no longer be a part of my daughter’s life. So, using Urdu in this series was an attempt to preserve a little bit of my origin story.
Mixed media, charcoal and color pencil on Illustration board 2016 - 2018