IN KEEPING WITH MYSELF
© Christina Hajjar, Illuminations, 2020
Archival inkjet print, 45.72 × 30.48 cm (18 × 12 inches)
Christina Hajjar is a queer femme first-generation Lebanese-Canadian artist, writer and cultural worker based in Winnipeg, on the traditional territory of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and the homeland of the Métis Nation. Her practice considers domesticity, labour and place through diaspora, body archives and cultural iconography. She is the winner of the 2020 PLATFORM Photography Award, co-founder of the Carnation zine and creator of Diaspora Daughter / Diaspora Dyke zine.
Hajjar's Illuminations self-portraits utilize the archive as a framing device to think through intergenerational inheritance, personal histories, pleasure, loss, love and the formation of identity. Objects of cultural intimacy to both Hajjar and her collaborator Nawal Asagher — who photographed the original images they created together — are projected onto Hajjar’s body. The projection of roses, rose water and jewellery pieces cloaks Hajjar like a blanket as she lays her body on the bed. The blend of body and object, still life and performance, creates the sense of lived experience as both a first-generation Canadian and a part of the Lebanese Diaspora.