“Glass Tower” 2020
I was born in Pakistan and have lived between Dubai, Egypt, Los Angeles and am currently in New York. In my works, there is often a journey or decision to be made; either against or in alignment with the pre-existing social order. One can be boxed in and precarious their whole lives or find a way to stability and freedom. Every species has its own method of survival.
For the longest time, I blatantly disregarded parts of my identity based on who I was talking to when asked ‘where are you from?’. This was often to avoid prejudice comments and assumptions about my upbringing, usually because countries like Pakistan are associated with crime or terrorism, and cities like Dubai hold associations of opulence and wealth.
As an immigrant artist, where is home? Is it the land of origin or the land of adoption, or like the nomad; a constantly redefined space. Continuously I move between home and elsewhere, from the familiar to the foreign. As is the process of navigating through life as an artist, there is a deep desire at times for stability, familiarity and a sense of belonging. With the uncomfortable moments however come feelings of gratitude towards the fact that as an immigrant I have more stories to tell and faces to meet than I ever could imagine if I had never stepped outside of my native land.
In this video, I will be exploring the push and pull and the highs and lows of being an immigrant in the USA especially during quarantine; the nostalgia of the desert, experiencing unconditional love and the taste of warm lentils and bread in the evening. I craved for these moments being in lockdown in a glass tower in Florida during hurricane season. Why did I continue to stay in a land where I will always be an alien, even during a global pandemic?
Artist's Bio -
Tania Zaidi received her Bachelors in Fine Art from University of California Los Angeles in 2018 and then took a year off after graduation to work in Pakistan and Dubai. Zaidi organized a Mural project named “The Future is Present”, involving a hundred university art students. She is currently a second-year graduate student in the Design and Technology MFA program at Parsons School of Design in New York City. Outside of her degree she is also pursuing teaching at The New School.
Although her focus has been painting for many years, the artist is working on recent projects concerning new media, coding, video and photography. Through these mediums she will further investigate post anthropocentrism, her third culture identity and the relationships between human, animal, plant, rock and technology, using storytelling and personal anecdotes to guide the narratives.
To view more work by Tania, please click HERE.