Today we’d like to introduce you to Samia Bzioui.
Hi Samia, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
My artistic journey started in Morocco, where I used to live until 2018, working at the Central Bank and taking painting classes once a week. When my family and I moved to the US, I kept my art practice mainly focused on oil painting, applied for the Studio Art MFA at MICA, and enrolled in 2019. This program, where practice and theory are tightly entwined, pushed me to deepen my thinking and work through different media.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It hasn’t been easy to adapt to a radically new culture and shift my whole career simultaneously. There were times when I questioned my decision. When I started the MFA, I was intimidated by all the “art talk” and wondered if I was legitimate. Still, I met incredible people along the way that helped me see that I had a few things to bring to the table and that my voice is equally important and welcome within the art community.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
My practice is focused on navigating the in-between, the un-belonging, the unsettling third space, and cultural hybridity. Very often and for many reasons, immigrants face the paradox of an impossible return to their home country and an impossible adaptation to the new culture. My work addresses that liminal space and explores the precarious space in-between cultures and cultural hybridity. From this perspective, I examine nostalgia, ideas of home, alienation, memory filtration, creolization, and post-colonial spaces. I often work with materials that evoke my cultural heritage’s secular traditions and rituals. Through a diasporan narrative, I aim to convey the richness and complexity of hybrid cultures and the cultural shifts and adaptations resulting from immigration. By weaving elements of my original home into my new cultural context, I wish to unravel the layers of multilayered identities and ultimately demonstrate the link between personal narratives and larger social structures.
Is there a quality that you most attribute to your success?
A foreign perspective to societal and political conversations.
- Website: www.samiabzioui.com
- Instagram: @Samia_Bzioui
First two images + 3rd image (altered by me on photoshop): credit Jill Fannon