Permanent Transience


For this project, artist Jumanah Bawazir worked with Somali women looking at the various holding places they had been occupying. “In the context of Somali women on their journeys to Europe, how do we create a process deployed in these transient moments, that builds a tool that communicates their narratives?”. Through conducting interviews, virtually reconstructing experiences, and using poetry together with the interviewees, the project aims to empower and humanize the interviewees whilst functioning as a holding to account to governments operating under the European surveillance systems that are inevitably controlling their journeys.


The film, ‘Permanent Transience’ - Narratives on Hold,’ focuses on one Somali woman’s specific journey illustrating how her narrative is one of 3.3 million in a state of limbo, addressing the government surveillance systems that have perpetuated these limbo periods, holding these power systems accountable, while also providing a platform for participants to reappropriate and take control of their own narratives.



“Spatial memories of the past, realities of the present, and visions of the future.”


The women that took part in this workshop were in their in-between state in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The overall goal was to understand the different manifestations of this in-between state.


Three workshops were held across 3 different days, with the focus on each day being:


Day 1: The spatial memories of their past

Day 2: The spatial conditions of their present

Day 3: The spatial visions of their futures


The workshop was casual, and natural, one of the things that triggered a memory for Rahma for example was a blue thread on the table, where her mother used to use the same colour to sew tablecloths. This specific memory allowed her to begin speaking more about her experiences.

Following the workshop, Bawazir began reconstructing their stories by 3D modeling a space based on their descriptions.


To learn more about artist Jumanah Bawazir's work visit: | instagram: @jumbawazir



The exhibition is supported by the Art Council England and HUB Collective.



Q&A with artist Jumanah Bawazir
Q&A with artist Jumanah Bawazir