Performance in wooden box, as part of Muslimah Arts and Voices Exhibition at Kvindemuseet in Aarhus in Denmark.
Duration: 15 minutes.
The unspoken gaze, that I felt on my body for years, that was classified as “me being too aggressive” by Danish friends. Telling me I was seeing ghosts. (Although I was mainly known to be a good and quiet girl.)
‘…it wasn’t till I moved to London to study Arts and Cultural Studies that I found the root to all the unspoken and invisible in Danish society towards migrants.
Eurocentrism was taking a big part in the migrant psychology that I felt prone to in Denmark, but which strangely disappeared outside of Denmark.
Placing myself in the centre of uncomfortability and gazes.
Being partly a shy person, I have wanted to put myself in a situation of Danish “glosuppe” (soup of stares) for many years. As I want to be looked at/stared at from many angles (read: any angles) to make sure that it might end the eurocentric gaze of ‘othering me’, for being different due to historic traces of colonialism and now neo-colonialism.
Could Danes get full and contend, by being allowed to look at me and orientalize me for as much as 15 minutes at a time in performances standing in a box just being me, many times during today.
Reading on the theory of theorist Homi Bhaba an Edward Said I have indeed realized that the “eurocentric gaze” of Europeans and especially the very homogenic and mainly monocultural Danish culture is not intended. This gave me a certain relief and a huge urge to write and talk about “eurocentrism” in general when in Denmark.
The box calls for others who feel different to put themselves inside the box.
As “eurocentrism” is not per se the only problem in Danish society, simultaneously London life and culture taught me that the Danish Jante Law, that we see as long forgotten, unfortunately gives an ever-extending feeling of “small town mentality”, that regulates what we do and who we are via another gaze.