Part 6 – Should we even continue?
After that Saturday at the village, I was feeling elevated; from the encounters, from the cross-language cross-cultural connection that was made. I thought about the things they told me, and it is clear to me that I will keep a lot of it to myself. I have a responsibility for the words I choose to share, even if it means that only a small segment of the story will be shown. I immediately put up some canvases and paints and began interpreting the fresh sensations into color, but I had to stop this too. I got a message. M. and R. say that they cannot take part in the project. I add them to N. who said the same, I think about W. who I had not heard a word from, despite the many time I called, and I stop. What do we do now? I feel how stagnation is taking hold. I start losing my confidence about how far this project might go.
I urgently call Michal, my partner in this. She is the one who invited me to do the project at the Guesthouse and knows the women quite well – "What do we do?" Michal, the perfect balance-woman, brainstorms with me. She suggests we turn to more women. I shall interview Wahida and Hannan.
Wahida arrives, and then Hannan. Everything goes smoothly. Interviews. A week later I get the embroidery from Hannan. And then, Wahida disappears.
No reply. No reply.
Here comes the stagnation again.
Doubts return – maybe it is the wrong project to do? Maybe coming there with an outsider's look, interviewing, showing; maybe it does not serve them at all? Maybe it threatens and endangers them? I understand why they do not answer, disappear. Life is so complex here. I consider pulling out.
Another call to Michal. "You see, this is the project," she explains. "The process itself is the project." We decide that this would be what we show. Even the one I drew that ended up with no face. Even those who did not bring their embroidery.