Upset on set
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These self-portraits were taken in hotel rooms I have stayed in during the past few years. Hotels represent places of transition where concerns of identity are erased, “non-places" in which we are levitating in a way, taking a break. Revealingly enough, instead of taking the camera out to the street during my travels, I felt the urge to pause and place myself in the centre of these unknown yet intimate, temporary spaces. Being an immigrant for over 20 years, I continue to question the meaning of the words place and identity, given that my own identity has been shaped by the different cultures and countries I have lived in. Therefore, I see identity rather as a continuous flow, a journey, and an escape from any definition, than as something assigned to me by birth. By fixing a moment in a hotel room, where mobility and stillness coincide, I attempt to deconstruct and explore different meanings of the terms place and identity in relation to the modern mobility, as well as the nature of estrangement, disorientation, anticipation and tear that accompanies the act of uprooting or displacement. Although these images have been taken while traveling, the perceived atmosphere of isolation has many parallels the lockdown period during the COVID-19 pandemic. I realized that these two apparent opposites, being a migrant without a place and being constrained to one place, have a lot in common.