conversation; i wish you’d hear my story (2018)

conversation; i wish you’d hear my story is an attempt of tracing back my ancestry and cultural heritage through digital tools such as facial recognition applications and google translate’s « speak » option. the racial ambiguity that lies with white-passing people of color and the circulation privilege it allows also show up in these softwares, as they are unable to properly recognize our features. this derives from colonial and orientalist visions of arabness, based often on stereotypes and fetish. but the main question isn’t about how to look arab, but why do arabs use the same representations to judge their peers? « they say i look foreign » is repeated throughout the video as it questions both the racial markers and my gender presentation which queerness has altered to a less traditionally feminine one, especially from a middle-eastern point of view. the vulnerability of my identity is questioned through this experimentation and these apps who can’t understand my broken arabic nor recognize my face. yet, i am still trying to have this conversation, even when no one is listening.

this video is also a visual response to the AfroCyberFeminisms conference I was invited to at La Gaîté Lyrique in June 2018.
lily hook (c) all rights reserved