Fellowship Reflections: Maryam Faridani - Define American

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Fellowship Reflections: Maryam Faridani

"It is hard to have hope about a better future in the current situation. To feel that the road I have chosen will take me to a better place."

Maryam Faridani's workspace.

I am fairly new to this country. This is my third year here. The past two were devoted to studying for my Masters in Fine Arts degree and this is this year that I started the official process of immigration. A process I question quite frequently. It is hard to have hope about a better future in the current situation. To feel that the road I have chosen will take me to a better place. Every day that passes I feel further away from the ability to change my decision. Not that any progress has been made. No. I don’t even know if any progress will be made any time soon. But I am starting to feel an attachment. To a place that barely accepts me as part of it. But I know that will change. I know that I have to wait, and I know I can wait.

Am I late to your country? Because it seems everyone else is leaving. Everyone is taking home their dreams. They all seem tired. But I just got here. I also brought some dried fruits my mom packed in my luggage. I brought everything I had in two pieces of luggage, hoping to stay here. But where is everyone going? And who are these men forcing some to leave? I hope I don’t catch their eyes, because their look is cold as ice. They are dragging people on the ground, while nobody says anything! I fear to say something. That they would notice me and take me with them. Everyone else seems to be high, trying to find their way out with a blurred vision, not realizing what is going on around them. I fear if I stay here long too, I will become numb also, not understanding what happens around me. There are some other people in the corner, they all seem tired, they have been stomping their feet for a long time as if they were dancing. Not freely, but as if they were forced to dance, to entertain. Even though no one is watching, they are still stomping their feet, they want to be heard. They are tired, but more importantly they are angry. All of this freezes me at the door frame. Not sure if I should enter or if I should leave too. But I just got here! And I don’t know where else to go! Someone from afar shouts: “Ain’t no party in the USA!” It doesn’t matter. I will stay and help clean up.

Read the other 2020 artist fellows’ reflections.

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