The woman as an occurring subject in my installations or performance work is represented as living in a state of occupation. This occupation or "occupying" force is issued through political conditions within her environment and this results in influencing the otherwise peaceful quality of her world. There are both private and public elements that manipulate this world.
The occupying force has many facets: it can take the shape of physical tangible realities of the everyday, such as a wall of concrete, a fence, a checkpoint, a curfew, a barrier of stone – or it can reassign it’s force onto the face of a child, a home, a language, and cultural, traditional expectations. There are limitations on her personal freedom as well: the woman, the mother, the lover, the guide, the protector. She seeks justice and longs for change. She is not blind to the opponents around her and pushes forward with enduring strength – and at times, she feels that it is almost as if she has to assume a sort of madness in her behavior so that she can live unharmed by oppression, in an attempt to always protect those she loves from negative forces of fear.
In my art works, the woman I represent lives in a world that attacks her values, her love, her spirit on a daily basis, and for this reason, she is in a state of occupation – and her world could be here in Palestine or elsewhere; and despite all, she looks towards her future with a smile.
The subject/woman I represent in the majority of my work is weighed down with oppression, but she is filled with ambition; she is saner than she should be and yet she is also a little mad. She is both fragile and strong, she is fully aware and responsive, and she is constantly on the move. And every move she makes, every act, is an act that exhibits awareness towards her surrounding environment, while simultaneously being an act of revolt towards social orders/conditions.
The actions of the subject I represent reflect an evaluation of the self and that of the subject’s environment, submission and revolt – attempting to live a life alongside occupying forces in all its forms and regardless of its geography. The subject is concerned with issues that "occupy" her individual spirit and the realities of her daily life, whether political or personal. (Raeda Saadeh)