My multilingual heritage is an embodiment of my cultural orphanage. Hence my work is an embodiment of how decolonization has directly affected language in Pakistan. Our society once build on language is now slowly crumbling, giving rise to a unique form of existential and identity crisis where foreign language is used to measure one’s intellect, literacy, and social status. Following this trajectory my work visually realized the consequences of pushing our own language toward extinction, thus, creating expressions that resemble structure of language but in fact is nothing more than a mere reflection of one, the departure of the signified from its signifier. I intentionally blur the lines between fact and fiction, documentation and imagination by employing experimental ethnography, combining storytelling, qualitative research and postmodern narratives. These methods help me to study identity politics leading to ‘Othering’ in post-colonial societies like Pakistan. As a consequence, also reconnoiter how a narrative is appropriated and subsidized. Via exploring these meta-narratives, which are concealed within the dominant systematic paradigms and discourses I am attempting to decenter the notion of institutional truths by reorienting and reevaluating our present stance.
Born in Lahore, Pakistan, Ayesha Rumi uses contemporary forms of image making to challenge narratives that have influenced identity in post-colonial societies. She has exhibited works in the United States, Germany, Pakistan, China and Italy. After graduating with distinction from Beaconhouse National University, she was awarded a Graduate Research Fellowship by Syracuse University New York which she completed with 4.0 GPA and was awarded valedictorian of 2021 Graduate Ceremony.