CONVERSATIONS WITH MY SELF, 20min., Turkey, Documentary
Directed by Sabina Shanti Kariat
Karagöz puppetry is a traditional Turkish type of shadow puppetry that dates back to the Ottoman empire in regions which are now modern day Turkey and Syria. In this project, we contemporized the craft of karagöz by representing new identities from the present in Turkey, specifically the identities of Syrian refugees. I co-created this film with a cohort of Syrian-Turkish youth who wrote their own monologues and animated them in the style of karagöz puppetry, visualizing different sides of their complex identities.
My artistic practice is informed by my positionality as a child of immigrants from South India, who is second generation on my mother’s side and has been rooted in California since my grandfather immigrated for education in 1959.
I am committed to using co-creation and anti-racist arts pedagogy as a way to empower marginalized identities to platform and celebrate our stories, combat the erasure of our community histories with radical visualization, to visualize radical futures through art, and ultimately to incite action in order to actualize those visions of equitable futures.
For me, representations of South Asians in sequential art and film has expanded my worldview of what is possible; seeing South Asians in narrative speak loudly or radically without self-censorship, belong without question, and remember history without erasure has given me the validation to start translating these ways of being into my own life. I strive to make work that is imbued with possibility for marginalized communities.