Hayati

Karim El Maktafi

2016

Italy

Hayati (“my life” in Arabic) is a visual journal realised exclusively with a smartphone. Hayati reflects and investigates on the identities of “second generations.” These children of immigrants, born and raised in Italy, balance between two realities that at first sight might seem incompatible.

To produce this investigation, I became both its subject and its object. I was born in Desenzano del Garda, a village near Brescia, Italy, from Moroccan parents. Growing up between two worlds forced me to sharpen my gaze and to compare these perspectives which often diverge from each other.

Embracing a single identity is not easy; feeling out of place or like an odd cultural hybrid often happens. Yet, while trying to define this identity, one understands the privilege of “standing on a doorstep” at the edge of two environments.

One can decide who to be, where to belong, or to create new ties, while keeping alive the experiences learnt along the path. One must learn to juggle multiple languages, cultural taboos, references, prohibitions, and learn to teach those who are not also standing on the doorstep.

I had to travel inside my own life and family. I faced doubts, hesitations and afterthoughts, but I realised an honest portrait of how I have lived until today.

The most interesting aspect of this story - of my story - is the creation of a less restricted reality. One that is undefined, in which various beliefs and experiences thrive and form a unique harmony.

This project was realized in Italy and Morocco and also incorporates archive images from old family albums.

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