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Bza: Language

Stories are shared through different forms of language.

In 1864, after 101 years, one of the worst genocides in modern history came to an end leaving hundreds of thousands of Circassians dead or forced out of their lands. Today, less than 15% of Circassians speak their native language. But stories are shared through different forms of language. We share our culture through our dances, food, music, and fashion. The Circassian dress is known for its big ornamented sleeves that, for me, look like story panels. I imagine Circassian women spending months sewing their stories into gold and silver curves. Very few documentation exists of the Circassian motifs, and even less on their meanings.

Bza, which means "language" in Circassian, is my journey of discovering the meanings of Circassain motifs. Then using this vocabulary to write the stories of our past, present, and future on three pairs of sleeves, each made using different materials and fabrication techniques.







Last update: 2023-05-01