Rabbya Naseer

Working title; measuring distances/differences 

‘Work/Art’ as a material entity, in my case, is only a by product of my attempts to understand lived ‘experiences’ and ‘encounters’ (both personal and collective). This Phd research aims to dig deeper into examining, researching, discussing and responding to these experiences and encounters as well as the structures of predetermined categories that contain/define/regulate them. The aim is to unpack questions of ‘belonging’ and ‘estrangement’ in order to complicate the relationship between ‘self’ & ‘other’. I plan to employ auto-ethnography as a tool to appropriate my own very personal encounters/experiences and connect this autobiographical subject to a larger social, cultural and political whole (while paying attention to the role of the “witness”). The project seeks to go beyond a binary understanding of self/other by drawing parallels between postmodern understanding of a performative-self and the concept of the self (fragmentary/situational/unfixed) essential to Islamic-Sufi philosophy, especially in contrast to the modernist understanding of the self and its systems of classification. This project is an extension of my preoccupation with performed identities and focuses on weaving personal and collective histories into narratives that hope to transgress traditional borders. It is an assemblage of experiments into ways of understanding and (possibly) inhabiting a “liminal-self”.

unfinished stories by rabbya naseer (2022) – video stills

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