Morgiana #illustration

Morgiana is a clever girl from Ali Baba and the forty thieves. With her wittiness she conquers the leader of the forty thieves. These illustrations are about new racism and exotism. For the magazine Ful.

My experiences such as belonging to a minority group in Iran, growing up in Iran as a woman, and my living in Sweden as an immigrant helped me to realize that one can easily be categorized as “the other” in a society. Even though the forms of categorization might be different in different societies. My “otherness” in Iran was direct and visible, while, in Sweden, it is indirect and invisible.

I am fortunate because I am an artist and this gives me an opportunity to question and play with certain stereotypical images by which I am illustrated as a woman, a member of a minority and an immigrant. These images depict me either as an exotic woman the way it is portrayed in ancient oriental books or as a black-veiled woman, a victim of Islamic societies, as it is portrayed by the mainstream media in the West. Recently I read that according to cognitive neuroscience studies, the brain of biased people works and reacts differently than those of unbiased ones. I don’t know how reliable these studies are, but I see certain behavioural pattern in biased people actions. I can notice the fear when they encounter “the other”, which leads to their racist action or their viewing me as an exotic creature.