As I’ve grown older I’ve realized that questions of identity aren’t only about me. In 2015 I visited my mom’s hometown of Erbil for the first time since I was a baby. Shortly after, I moved to the region and continued to visit Erbil regularly, multiple times a year. I was excited to visit and expected to feel at home like I had found my place in the world. Instead of learning about my own identity as I expected, I began to learn more about my mother and the Kurdish part of our family (having spent the most time with the Arab side growing up).
I realized how little I knew of her identity and personality and began to piece more and more together after conversations with her newly reconnected family and her friends. I wondered if I, as her daughter, had been part of watering down my mother’s identity, forcing her into another identity in order to facilitate my assimilation. Through continued visits to my hometown, I tried to explore the symbols associated with Kurdish identity and in doing so, learn more about my mother and her life before she became one.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Laramie Shubber is a photographer interested in exploring subtle political intricacies which exist in the everyday. She took BA Fine Art at Central Saint Martins in London and an MA in Media and the Middle East at SOAS. After a period of not making any work, a reconnection with her roots made her pick up the camera again.
Laramie’s work has been exhibited in France, UK, Egypt, Dubai and Greece.
© Laramie Shubber