Buzzwords (2009)

Photoetching, hard-ground, aquatint and colour roll on two hexagonal plates, Set of 7, edition of 12, 21.0 × 18.2 Size (cm) | 8.3 × 7.2 Size (in), In collaboration with Cicada Press, UNSW, Sydney.

Visual stereotypes and the endless use of ‘Buzzwords’ like Jihad, Fatwa, War on Terrorism and the Axis of Evil from “experts of Islam and terrorism”[1] in the Western media and the media in Muslim countries, have stripped the complexity of an issue to mere clichéd words. These etchings combine references to the lack of understanding of these seven buzzwords that summarize the post 9/11 world dictionary that has only words but with no clear definition. These words, Fatwa, Jihad, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Islamophobia, War on Terror, Us & Them and Axis of Evil, became the Seven Cardinal Sins or seven chapters of human history. Their arrangement in a hexagonal shape suggests the power of words for the purpose of propaganda. It is reminiscent of a game of Chinese whispers where the word once spoken changes and mutates getting hijacked and losing its meaning and identity. Within the beehive pattern, each word is like a puzzle accompanied by a bee or bee’s internal and external parts.

[1]  Some of these words became the Time magazines’ top 10 word list of 2002 and other followed in later years.