ESPAND: “The Pairing”

A disorienting call to prayer
I remember mornings before sunrise, standing on that prayer mat
Suddenly I also appreciate a sense of ownership- to hear this call by a non male voice,

A glitched aural reality that feels more authentic

The site is met with a white cube
I think of the Kaabah, I think of how sacred this white cube can be
Deconstructing the kaabah- the white cube reveals.

Azadi– meaning freedom in the multiplicity of my languages
Azadi– in a burka regal, observing, poised

They move slowly,
gathering momentum, the fabric giving way,
tracing each gesture

Marriage of light and materiality produces
with action
a flume between their bodies.
Like smoke and mirrors.

The Other emerges.
is produced.
They frame one and the other
reveal each other
to sit on a fissure

building tension with each gesture                                                                                                                                                     a move in unison

Synchronicity starts to talk about bodies two bodies
start to talk about difference and desire.
I think of the fabric.
its history in notions of oppression
its positioning as a tool of rebellion

Contemporary happenings:


(Muslim)(Queer) Feminism

Nostalgia hits again
As they find each other in Sama
As they repel each other in movements that shadow.
As it begins, its ends.


RP14 performance photo by Giana Gambino.
Nabeela Vega is an artist&writer originally from Dhaka Bangladesh. Vega migrated to Virginia four days before September 11th 2001 at the age of eleven. Experiences following this event are what fuel their interest in the orientalist/anti- orientalist lens and notions of the other. Their work has been exhibited nationally and featured in publications such as the Washington Post & The Aerogram.

Find them:
& @nabeela_vega