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Mujhe Ghar Jana Hai Par Ghar Hai Kya

About project

I often think of home as a concept being intrinsically linked to fluency in language. Growing up speaking and being taught primarily in English meant that my fluency in Urdu, the national language of Pakistan, suffered.

The title phrase means “I want to go home but what is home?” Each word is broken up into its constituent letters to evoke the difficulty I have in reading and communicating in Urdu. When carving my linoleum block, I accidentally used the English question mark instead of the Urdu, which faces the opposite direction, unintentionally showcasing which language I feel more comfortable in.

With this variant I aimed to evoke memories of the takhti, the small chalkboard handed out to children when they first start learning the alphabet in school.

This hand embellished version took its inspiration from the floral patterned page borders in Urdu/Persian/Arabic texts.

I was also keen to do a simple version with a larger border, the viewer would have to come closer so as to focus on the letters themselves.