Fragments of Ourselves 

“Fragments of ourselves were going all over the place, as if to live meant to scatter endlessly.”
“Des fragments de nous-mêmes partaient dans tous les sens, comme si vivre signifiait s’éparpiller sans cesse.”

Waiting is more than just a mere phase; it contains a lot of meanings and emotions that only the ones tormented by it would comprehend. This series is an attempt to understand the pain that accompanies waiting where we can find real, precious and sensitive pieces of ourselves. The pain of waiting that sometimes come from a certain longing filled with feelings that are unknown, unreachable, or unfathomable.

In spending time with a group of Sudanese women living in Cairo, I have realized that our internal state connected us on a much deeper level than anything. Single mothers who are waiting to go back to their home country, Sudan, after they’ve been betrayed and left by their husbands; henna dancers who are living the day by day, sharing their loneliness, dancing to forget – or to remember; and some are just waiting for nothing and everything. As for me, I have been committed to a lot of waiting in my life. Paulo Coelho once said, “Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing which to do is the worst kind of suffering.”

I worked on this project during the COVID-19 pandemic, a time of indescribable loneliness and perpetual waiting accompanied by overwhelming feelings of malaise and melancholy; a time that forced me and I feel many people to recognize parts of ourselves that we didn’t know well enough but they are still very much part of ourselves.

I felt it was important to continue working on the project even though the times were hard, and sometimes unbearable; spending time and talking with these incredibly strong women has given me a sense of belonging, warmth and comfort – in times when my heart and mind were full of confusion. Liberating me from everything I was forced to leave behind.

Each woman had a different story, different experience, and a different life; but our fragments were the same. The longing to sense the true feeling of home or the longing to reunite with loved ones who make us feel home.

With intense red, bruised blue, and all the silent black and white in between, this series is a poetic dialogue between our fragments; writings that expresses different longings and desires; questions begging for answers; colors of love and loss, rage and betrayal, home and memory; forgetting what once was and the acceptance of what is. the emotional struggle of putting back together fragments of ourselves that once felt safe, secure, and whole.

It’s sad and beautiful. Maybe even romantic.

 

It’s achingly human.