Sara Ouhaddou RV Journey

Sara Ouhaddou speaking to Miley Cyrus at the LA Women’s March on 21 January 2017

The RV crew hits Texas

Watching Trump’s inauguration at a gas station cafe in El Paso

Think of it as a giant game of Tetris

Speaking to two locals in Helena, Mississippi

Sara Ouhaddou on the RV

12 Jan 2017 - 21 Jan 2017

OUT AMONG THE STARS – SARA OUHADDOU & CULTURUNNERS

As America enters into one of the most decisive eras in its modern history, artist Sara Ouhaddou collaborated with CULTURUNNERS on ‘Out Among The Stars', the first of CULTURUNNERS artist’s journeys in 2017.

The global rise of nationalist sentiments across the world has become one of the historical phenomena of our times. In January 2017, Moroccan artist Sara Ouhaddou, embarked on a cross-country US road-trip, from East to West coast, to explore the many facets of American nationalism in both major cities and traditionally rural low-income towns in Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas and California.

Sara has been working on the subject of the five-point star, a symbol of strong spiritual and cultural significance. In both Moroccan and American culture, this symbol is the central motif of the national flags. Through a series of journeys between Morocco and the US, the larger project will bring together Moroccan and American craftsmen to develop a new ‘star constellation'; one, which through innovation in shape, material and context, challenges established associations, and generates new meaning.

While on the road developing ‘Out Among the Stars’, Sara documented the stars that she encountered and simultaneously interviewed local people on their interpretation of the meaning of this symbol. The star appears on the American flag, as part of national and regional logos and sports mascots. In a growing xenophobic American society, Sara hopes to unpack the intricate sentiments that are tied to nationalism and fear of pluralism in an effort to transcend local and global divisions, and act as a bridge between cultures.

In the build up to the inauguration of Donald Trump, Sara travelled from New York to Los Angeles with stops at the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, cotton fields in Mississippi, the McDonald Observatory in Texas, as well as RV Parks, truck stops, shopping malls and gun ranges among other locations. Ouhaddou’s journey culminated at the LA’s Women’s March on January 21st 2017.

Motivated by a curiosity to adapt traditional visual language to future  possibilities, as well as a desire to support traditional craft techniques, which are at risk of being forgotten in contemporary society, Sara's US tour with CULTURUNNERS acted as a connector of people and ideas across the most complex and contested ideological border of our time.

Photographs: Marwen Farhat

Featured Artists

2017 marks the third year of the CULTURUNNERS cross-cultural road trip in  search of interconnected histories and common concerns between America and  Middle East.

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