2021 PROGRAMME ANNOUNCEMENT Be Festival
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Behjat Omer Abdulla – In Limbo & New Place of Origin

Behjat Omer Abdulla recalls: “Being in exile is the source of my inspiration. My work developed directly from investigation into ID cards, people’s origins and how they are presented through government processes. I use drawing to listen to people’s specific psychological dramas, with the work aiming to show a point of struggle between thought and appearance. I am trying to question the effects and the outcomes of categorisation in the system we live in. It is shocking to see how codes and numbers have classified and shaped us within a system that is almost invisible to us”. Behjat’s work will be displayed at AE HARRIS and at Mac Birmingham.

In Limbo (2010): “the chosen participants were asked to perform as if they were sitting for an ID photo for a document that may determine the course of their life. I chose the photo I thought best captured the person’s core, framing their true identity. The moment captured within the photograph encapsulates an impression of the subject being absent from their own life, absent from misfortune, raised from the misery and anger caused by their destiny being held in the hands of a disengaged authority”.

New Place of Origin (2009) is a video installation showing 64 frames of portraits of 11 people. It was part of a screening show in Oslo (2009); HEP (Human Emotion Project) Portugal (2009) and London (2010); and Staffordshire University final degree show (2010). It is the result of hours of filming performers in a dark space and taking thousands of still images.

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