I can’t find the words to tell people how I feel because the people who made the language are my oppressors (installation)

Architecture Fringe 2021 Open Programme
Many Studios, Glasgow, 09.06-12.06

Installation with video projection and soundtrack

“Yes, we are diverse, vibrant, colourful... but are we not more than that?”

Language is commonly perceived as the foundation for human interaction, but it is easily corrupted, used as a tool to (in)validate the experiences of people of colour and incorrectly ‘translate’ norms that fall outside of Western culture.

With this installation, /other investigates language through the deconstruction of select words or statements chosen by our collaborators. By capturing the aspects of our lives deemed ‘untranslatable’ when viewed through a Eurocentric lens, we mark out a space that taps into our personal and (a)political lived experiences, normally reserved for the white establishment within architecture and design. These ‘deconstructions’, moving in and out of the limitations of the English language, are less about the resulting visuals, and more about the process and cathartic properties of mark-making. As they are projected onto multiple sheets of fabric, the gradual change in clarity reflects not only the layered yet selective visual language used in architectural drawing, but the power of the dominant culture - of which the architecture establishment is part of - to pick and choose aspects of ‘the other’ deemed appropriate and easy to (mis)interpret.

With contributions from
Divya Shah
Dorica Santos
Pavandip Sian

Commissioned by
New Practice

With thanks to
Elisa Pierrisnard

Photos courtesy of
Adam Stent
Mia Pinder-Hussein
Robb Mcrae