We live in an increasingly divided world, especially considering the global events that have taken place over the past few years Brexit, the Scottish Independence Referendum & Donald Trump’s elections have all made us reconsider our place in the world, where borders exist and what could possibly happen in the future.
I decided in retaliation to this changing world to write to Theresa May and declare my own independence, for the Republic of Maktaal’amra, an enclaved micronation located at my desk space at the Glasgow School of Art. My project was born out of an interest to those current affairs and the want for a way for me to reflect my opinions and thoughts about what is happening around us, in a humorous and satirical yet truthful way.
The etymology behind the name Maktaal’amra is a loose Arabic transliteration of the words Amir’s + Desk. I utilised Arabic due to my Moroccan heritage and I tried to create something that borrowed etymology from existing nations. The project had to have as much of me in it as possible and so as well as the name, the imagery of the flag is just as important and so I created a flag that amalgamated the 3 areas that mean the most to me and utilised motifs of the Scottish, British & Moroccan flags to create my own.
Not only does Maktaal’amra have a name that sounds real and a flag but I created passports and a border control to allow people to leave and enter as they will, how will post Brexit these movements happen?
This project acts as a lens on society reacting and commenting on current afairs while creating an uncanny reality in which the lines between the absurd and the real collide, as well as being a lens it's a social comment on myself, nationality and identity is something that I have always been at odds with - the son of an immigrant, and as such the project gave me an interesting angle on how I see my place in the world, and I hope it has given other people the chance to see also.