Aman Mojadidi | Swimmin’ With Existential Gators

Exploring the themes of identity politics, conflict, and the push to and resistance against modernization, Aman Mojadidi’s TEDxJacksonville talk documents how his own “Geography of Self” began to take new shape, and how Jacksonville became a much more complex place within it.

“I’ve realized,” said Mojadid, “that perhaps I had stereotyped Jacksonville in the same way I had accused Jacksonville of stereotyping me.” The Afghan artist and TED Fellow Aman Mojadidi’s talk is based on his personal experience of growing up as an American citizen in a world that is simultaneously globalized and fractured. “[It’s] because of this,” he observes, “this negotiating myself through a life lived in the in-between, always having to respond to that question ‘Where are you from?’ and never really knowing how to answer, that I have had to rethink a lot about what it even means to be ‘from’ somewhere.”

The Afghan artist and TED Fellow (TED Global 2012) Aman Mojadidi’s practice is based on his personal experiences and his curatorial and academic research in cultural studies. Having grown up as an American citizen, in a world that is simultaneously globalized and fractured, in his work Mojadidi combines traditional storylines and postmodern narrative strategies to approach themes such as belonging, identity politics, conflict, and the push to and resistance against modernization. Continuously exploring what he calls the “geography of self,” Mojadidi travels through both mental and physical landscapes, intentionally blurring and merging the lines between them, as well as between fact and fiction, documentation and imagination.

He has exhibited his work in galleries, independent spaces, and cultural centers in New York City, Los Angeles, Paris, Singapore, Hong Kong, Cairo, Mumbai, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Dubai, Kassel (dOCUMENTA 13), Dharamshala, Ft. Kochi (Kochi/Muziris Biennale), and Kabul.