Untitled|12 x 17 in| Photoshop, photo paper, needle and thread.
I revised the original photo to add stitches and the USA flag. This shows the link of cultural influences in my life.
Malak
Salem
Reavis High School|Burbank, IL
2-D
Design
My art explores how textiles show my experience of Palestinian and American cultures. I was born in America to Palestinian parents. Growing up, I’ve navigated conflicting expectations.
Teacher
statement
Katie Kalus
This student’s inquiry began with a question regarding how textiles are connected to her cultural identity.  There were many versions of this self-portrait over time. 

She began by manipulating a black and white photo from a previous class. First, she researched textiles from her native country and collaged them over her hijab. She then wanted to know more about the textile arts of Palestine, so she asked her grandmother to teach her some traditional stitches and practiced applying them to photo paper.
In this final image, she added the American flag reference as a border, and the stitches literally connect the two parts of her cultural identity. The student documented everything along the way, which allowed us to see this piece transform over time. It taught us both that it's ok to revisit work that we thought was complete and that sometimes the addition of something as simple as a stitch profoundly impacts an artwork's meaning.
Malak Salem
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