Retracing history and one’s own life journey is always cathartic and in this project ‘Self-Identity and Migration’, Wajid Hussain has taken a look at his own past through artistic residencies in cities, such as Newcastle, Bradford, Blackburn and South Shields, places key to his upbringing and that have shaped his life.
“For me as a British Artist “SiaM” has been about a sense of self-enquiry and identity exploration. The places I have completed my residencies, people I have met along the way, of all generations and explored the subject matter through workshops and language, has all informed the final exhibitions and performances delivered. All challenging and provoking my thoughts on identity, it has not only increased my understanding but also my ongoing enquiry into it”
“We all have a story and heritage that echoes inside us, it just needs a sound and space to explore it.
For me SiaM is the start of that sound and space being created”
Artist & Poet
Wajid Hussain 2014
Through the media of creative writing, photography and water-colour workshops with local community groups, Wajid Hussain, a visual artist and performance poet, set out to explore ways to retrace his steps to what shaped and influenced him as a young man. During his university years he experienced first hand the upheaval and identity-based challenges faced by the young people around him in Bradford and Lancashire.Having been immersed into the heart of the Asian community, he met people with high aspirations spanning a spectrum of options, some infringing the law itself.
Growing up and experiencing life in those cities had a profound impact on Wajid to assert his own identity in terms of ethnicity, belonging, however, the wider notion of self-identity as a British young man remained unanswered. In the light of this, this project not only raised many questions for Wajid, but also answered many that have remained unanswered.