Far away from home I plait my dreams in your hair
Mine, my mother’s
I purl fly and say
please go, learn the language, open the gate
Make the revolution

In the video and photography installation Foreign grounds, familiar gaze I explore a mother’s gaze on her daughters, while pondering the cultural and geographical boundaries and possibilities of girlhood. I will extend this work by photographing and filming girls and mothers with different cultural and ethnical backgrounds with the intention to visualise the combination of weird endearingness, hope and resistance between them. The productive concept of power, in my project, enables ideas in which the hegemonic visual representations of mothers and daughters offer us the models to identify, but they also provide the space for resistance. Identities are, thus, not stable or static, but constantly reshaped in relation to the communities in which they take part, as well as by the cultural representations they see and the locality they inhabit. I will exhibit my work in a gallery in addition to involving different groups and community members to take part in the photography and video workshops. The artworks will be exhibited in life size dimensions of girls and mothers in order to emphasize the possibility to identify mothers’ gazes on their daughters. I will add collectively written stories in my visualisations and explore the tensions between still and moving images.

Mari Mäkiranta

Dr Mari Mäkiranta is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Lapland, Faculty of Art and Design, and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Jyväskylä, Department of Music, Art and Culture Studies.

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