Works by Ani (Anahita) Bradberry, Rex (Alexandra) Delafkaran & Sheida Soleimani
Entering the room, indistinguishable combinations of saffron, Chanel No. 5 and black tea steep into the senses. Dole out the kisses to every cheek in the room. Catch the occasional salaam and khoshgel. Never quite understood or understanding, never quite the same, the ethnic friend, the American grandchild.
We are our own Others. We are troubled by the simultaneously intimate and unfamiliar facets of our family histories. This identity is defined by its fluctuation and intensely unique individual experience.
We are inexplicably in love with traditions that lie under lenses of our families and our countries. Both of our motherlands float at odds with one another, separated by an ocean of fear and mistrust. Within this tension, we are both horrified and strengthened by the myths. Exotification and fetishization have shaped our lives, and the myths become as vivid and slippery as the goldfish on nowruz. Our adolescence is embedded in the joy and anxiety of language. Rich with symbols, smells, textures and tastes, our shared experiences are pure poetry. We all know the sensations of gracious apologies and tart affection.