Postcards: coming together while apart (2012)
I have gathered 55 statements and comments on Facebook from friends and strangers about missing Tehran, Iran, or a specific place, object, food, etc while in diaspora or exile. The statements are printed on postcards representing our collective love and memoir for a homeland we have left behind. By removing the images that the text was written about, the remained statements have themselves become the “image” without needing to show what it is that they are describing or referring to. The postcards will not be mailed or send out anywhere. There is no address or stamp on the back of the cards. The place is lost. The image is gone. The postcards are only the documentation of lives we live. Documentation of Bodies coming together through machines to share the embodiment experience of diaspora. Documentation of coming together when being apart. Coming together away from home to feel ‘at home’. The Internet has become an alternative space, a third place (home) for Iranians in diaspora (something never experienced before by older generations in diaspora). Without it the life in exile, the community in diaspora could feel more lonely, more lost and fallen apart. What makes these postcards very important is their role in presenting a documentation of a collective memory created, remembered, shared with one another in this third space. “Collective memory is the active past that forms our identities” (Sethi). But could collective memory also play a destructive role in history? Could it become dangerous as it marks a delusional and romanticized history? The postcards are displayed to raise such issues and questions; Unanswered at this point of our lives as we play an active role in writing and creating it.