The arabic expression أمّاه (pronounced Oumm-aah) resists precise translation. Literally, it is a call to mother, however its usage can expand to a call to the homeland, and to the earth.
Using a process of digital layering both in a technical and metaphorical sense, the artist treats the photographic image as a repository for personal, collective and universal consciousness. In this light, Haram’s work becomes an homage to a culture, people and land under a decades-long siege. Moreover it is a sweeping tribute to the anguished call of mothers, children and the earth itself. In a spiritual leap, she converts the four walls of the room into a sanctuary.
Drawing from three overlapping bodies of work, the artist places the documentary image side by side with mythical works constructed from photographs she took during her trip to Palestine and from historical archives, forming a potent mix of iconographies. Individually, these images exude a palpable sense of loss. In dialogue together they step beyond postcolonial longing to a possible territory of redress and reparation. With this Elegy to her native Palestine, Eman Haram raises universal questions concerning roots, displacement and dispossession, unsettling cultural assumptions concerning symbols and photographic imagery.