Somehow I came across this video online, a young woman pleading her father for forgiveness before she is stoned to death by him, and a few other ISIS men. She was young, frail, and her accent sounded like mine. I was overwhelmed with how easily it could have been me in her place, a less advantageous birth was all it would have taken. I felt a sense of kinship with her; how even at the end she wanted to please her father, the way her screams happened at the back of her throat, an internalized pain. And the fact that she had (according to her captors) allowed her self to fall in love, and partake in a relationship, despite the stakes at hand. She was a people pleaser, someone who internalizes her pain, but can be controlled by her passion; she even had my accent.
I knew I had to make a piece of art about her, and for her. I saw her as the hero of the situation the lone carrier of passion and light in a dark and painful world. A saint.
At the end of the video of her brutal murder, a rock hits her head and her hair flows out of her scarf, the man filming blurs the picture. Thus I decided that I would represent her through the very thing they wished to hide of hers, but since I could not use her hair, I opted for the closest alternative; my own hair. out my hair i made a string or prayer (or worry) beads. Thus the private and intimate collided once more with the religious and codified. Other then hair I used gold leaf, to symbolize her saintliness, and the artificiality of the ‘holiness’ of this killing. I coated the rock that had been the weapon in her murder with this gold leaf, it symbolized both the artificially holy; the murder, and the truly holy; her blood.