anticolonial maps
for lost lovers
Diana Yaseen

Lost Youth

The class assignment was to paint a figure in an interior. What interior could possibly be mine? if even though I did not run from bullets and bombs, we still have no home left to go back to. How the interior is not only physical but a place of safety for our psyches. And when home is destroyed and hope of creation stolen, what is left are the remnants of burned down homes remembered scarcely in the blur of escape, and hearts still aching, yearning for belonging. Gas still lighting, orange groves still catching fire, turning into disintegration. The remembrance of bloodshed overpowering, hiding beauty and vitality of a once so colorful land. When replaced narratives begin their creation and continue for 74 years so that families continue running from scars of the mind. How has so much time passed? What began as a six year old child running for his life after the creation of the Israeli state, waiting to go home, became a life given to his child in a refugee camp upon realizing home no longer existed. At six years old, he begins working for his life, earning his place in a failing economy, until finally, in search of survival, he then gives life to a third child who understands at six years old the gift of a life spent comfortably. And when brought to the land of the free, beauty was no longer hers, yet again defined and remolded by corrupt expectations. The desire for blonde hair and blue eyes, skin not quite so yellow, a body befalling beauty as was described. Three generations later, and more people have been forced into hiding. No longer only running from physical violence, but running trying to find safety of home in the mind.

Diana Yaseen is a multimedia artist, primarily working in the visual arts of painting, drawing, and collaging. She also works with written language, both integrating it into her artwork and writing poetry, short stories, and essays. As a third-culture kid questions pertaining to sense of home, belonging, and alienation overwhelm much of her artwork. Many other questions influence her work, especially in terms of the conjunction between history and the construction of self and how genocidal violence has morphed through generations. She has just completed her Associates degree at Bard College at Simon’s Rock and will continue studying international relations while continuing her visual and written artistic practices.


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