This is a series of work responding to the refugee crises and specifically child refugees.
As a British Egyptian artist who has grown up in the Middle East, I have experienced first-hand the precarious politics and economics of the region as well as witnessed the migrant and refugee crises over the decades.
By no means am I comparing my experiences with those that had fled their homes for fear of prosecution and death, risking the lives of their young ones to cross perilous lands and seas for the chance of a better future. But there have been times when the political situation with my own family was quite precarious and I know as a mother of two young girls I would have done anything to make sure my family was safe.
The works that I make are shaped and resonate with my journeys, my history, motherhood and family, but also these stories come through in my work in a wider way in translating other collective and personal histories and journeys of fight and flight, survival, resilience and precariousness.
According to the UNHCR 80 million people are forcibly displaced in the world today. In the west, we have become immune to news and images of war, natural disasters and catastrophes. With this series ‘Lost and Not Found’ I wanted to make work that would make you stop and think, educated and question our policies and views towards refugees and displaced people.
Since November 2019, I have been volunteering with a Refugee charity collecting donations of cloths, tents, shoes etc.. to send to refugees in camps across Europe. While sorting out the donations I started to come across single odd baby and kids’ shoes, which I kept and since then I have been working with these found shoes incorporating them within settings depicting loss and despair, using plastic netting/supermarket packaging and found drawers.