Promoting and creating reputations for marginalized and non-represented communities, questioning ways of thinking and classical ethnography.
I always needed to get really close to people and I think when I got a camera I just started using it as an excuse for getting closer. I feel people are like messengers or like mediator and I need them to transfer information. They're also a direct entry to myself; they heal and help me evolve in a way. I remember in University thinking we’re learning all these theories and politics, a lot of them are fictional and super restricted and I always felt if you’re not out in the world and connected to people then it's not really politics. That’s when I decided to go to Palestine for the first time, to deconstruct normalizing social and political structures I would use my camera as a trigger for social interaction with communities. But after a while, I felt being discovered is also a colonialist way and very patronizing. Documentary filmmakers can be really violent. Representation is also stigmatization so how can I get away from this? Stop making work about others? I can’t! I still have hope there’s ways of empowering without exploiting. Right now I’m collaborating with Abel Amanuel, an Eritrean asylum seeker living in Tel Aviv. I’m working on a promotional pack for his Photo studio business.
*aesthetic / aesthetic interests
I’m trying to explore politics and empower marginalized identities through care, religion, power relations using digital imagery, documentary techniques, bootlegs, fashion, non western/middle eastern futuristic aesthetics. There’s no representation without aestheticization; I’m learning how to challenge traditional documentary and add to raw reality. Sometimes it doesn’t work just to take a photograph or make a video interview you need to trick reality for it to be more powerful.
My audience is still too elitist it makes me sad. The art world being mostly western, white and hegemonic in general is so limited. I try to show work outside of galleries too. Like inside churches, Internet cafes, phone stores or even holy caves . I wish my work could reach more people, not only the chosen few who get to visit galleries but it’s hard.
MALAXA’s work explores decolonial aesthetics and political resistance through digital culture, art, documentary and fashion, celebrating African and Middle Earstern powers, struggles, hussles, identities, tastes, diasporas, beauty standards and technologies.
MALAXA’s office provides non Euro-centric art direction, digital imaging, visual research, video making and styling.
MALAXA is also a network showcasing the works of teachers challenging our white supremacist capitalist cis-hetero patriarchal normative visual culture.
MALAXA is US for YOU.
ok so i thought a bit more about this as a collab.
i think it would be helpful if you emailed me what you would like to take away from this project,
i think your strengths in this project are easily: communication/reaching out, documenting, making others feel welcome/ comfortable, empathy, compassion, listening, aesthetics…
so, if we could find a way for u to benefit (thru malaxa, interview video media would be rad) then were good
so we know the 2 elements here are
content: a diverse, preferably non western individuals’ ideas of paradise/ utopia/ “winning the lotto”
> looking to subvert (or rather get back to reality on the topic of) the generic representation of “normal happy people”, i.e., the sad state of stock photography, advertisement, fashion..which is white washed and inherently backwards/ false
form: the dope aesthetic of a shiny, scratchable lottery cards in which we replace typical imagery of white, straight smiling millionaires- with real, diverse people, in order to prove that there is not one singular definition of “winning the lottery,” and consequently altering these images associated with such a change of lifestyle, in order to try and reverse damage associated with colonialism…….a fairy tale but still worth every effort
lotto tickets are basically a toy for adults, socially acceptable gambling, a genius sneaky conception by the gov’t in order to fund who knows what.. etc etc
me I want to physcially make these cards and make tests and experiment with materials.
i want to direct the photo set but i dont need to take the photo, i trust ur aesthetic and think if you were interested in controlling some aspects of this project then we could both have a lot of fun and make something worth discussing
Collaboration Project with Sara G
I usually pick my people on how deep they care and how I feel their love for God. I love non-moderate personalities and people that come up with theories. Right now I’m very influenced by artists Mohamed Bourouissa, Sara Graorac and Tabita Rezaire, and they are the ones I collaborate with for their strong soul and deep hearts.
Not White Not Jewish is an ongoing documentation work of a beauty salon in the central bus station of Tel Aviv. It focuses on collaging and collecting images, videos, staged photographs, and video interviews. I want to show the different dynamics between the women in the salon; between the owner and her customers. To document their opinion on white people and Ashkenazim, their cultural and religious identity and femininity. Aside from treating oneself to the pleasure of renewing your hair, taking care of oneself, it is a place for reunion and chatting. The women sit there, smoking, gossiping, bitching and criticizing their society.
How do you go to petra when you’re an artist and not get upset that every single
image you’re gonna take is gonna be pure exoticism and total orientalism.
God Bless Hito Steyerl
One has to do it justice, and you can only do it justice by fictionalizing. Otherwise,
it’s not documentary.
I feel a lot of time people miss the point of holy days; they’d ask stuff like “hey are nespresso coffee pods kosher for Passover”? . Pessach in you just means it’s a super spiritual time and if you’re into this ritual you’re suppose to not eat bread to remember the Exodus (from slavery to freedom) and to feel it in your body and mind, not to get confused with details like this. And it goes for a lot of things in life, not only religious practices.