Blood and Flowers
Project info

Artist Statement
Renluka Maharaj

When I left my country of Trinidad I was nine years old, old enough to remember my home and aware of the implications of leaving. Moving to America made my world smaller. I was no longer safe on my own land and not free to speak in my own tongue. I was placed in remedial classes because teachers were incapable of understanding me; my dress, food and way of life were different from any of my schoolmates.

Higher education lent no solutions to feeling marginalized and finding those that looked and sounded like me were scarce. Though I couldn't put it into words then, conformity became my friend. I led a double life, the “me” inside my new home and the “me” outside. At once I felt I didn't belong anywhere to feeling I belonged everywhere.

Through the use of photography with elements of installation, performance and personal narratives I investigate this disconnect, displacement and reclamation of identity via the lens of social, political and cultural issues at large and more specifically, its influence and effects within the Indian diaspora.