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Samia Sayed

A work with my grandmother, my namesake, the toughest, funniest, cheekiest woman in my life.  I meet her on occasion when in the same country, where I don’t belong, but I belong. Carrying my secrets, a fountain of shame – she doesn’t know me, but she does. 

Nowhere I land is ground. I managed to film her dancing to her favourite song in 2016, unveiled to me but veiled to you – she is now my secret. I attempt to dance with her, worship her, alone, on the walls of my home. She tells a love story of a gentleman caller and all I can think about is how I will always be an audience to her.  I allow the obsession of masculinity to drive through me, marking their territories. You’ve made your mark on me, Teta. I set you on fire, then left you, without another meeting. 

you’re like a lullaby that helped me sleep through the nights of a warzone
even though you were only meant to play in the morning to make me feel alive again
with the smell of fresh zaatar and bread
my muse
i still remembered them
they remembered me
everytime i hear your voice
everytime i listen to your music you make me move in a way
let me go and i’ll promise you a forgotten task
my whole life i’ve cried
in one tear my life changed
i counted all the names and erased them
goodluck trying to sleep without the milk that birthed you
i don’t know whose it is
don’t forget the names that erase you
i am tied to this language through the nights and mournings of weeping
how you’ll never be erased
i met your namesake and she had no idea who you were


Samia Sayed
Video & Editing : EO Gill
Starring: Samia Sayed & Samia Hajj-Ali
Photography: Lara Zok & Nada Hajj-Ali

Living and working on the land of the Gadigal people, Samia Sayed is a contemporary artist & writer- interrogating and revising notions of love, violence, gender and sexuality. She works with text, sound and video exploring what she has lived through and witnessed to be forms of resistance within domestic, religious and cultural spheres.