Artist Mustafa Mohammed

5000 €

The Heavenly Body

I cannot remember having felt accepted anywhere since my childhood. Growing up gay in a working-class family in Amman, Jordan, I always was looking for a place where I could be loved, where people would look at me and appreciate me. But I was a target of other people’s negative attention: rejection, and homophobic violence. To feel accepted, one needs to be seen, desired and validated. The last couple of years it has become fairly evident to me that, when it comes to meeting other men romantically, there is a hierarchy of sexual desirability. I can feel it on dating apps as well as in interpersonal relationships: white men are much more sexually desired than men from East or South Asia, and from Africa. To think through the length of sex is interesting because it is to think about power: the culture says that you are or are not somebody who is desirable. Sex is about the value of being desired. And it's quite ugly to be unfairly undesired. During my residency I want to work on a performative work investigating the political forces shape at least hierarchies of desirability. I intend to diving further into my own life as raw material to develop a series of spoken word texts questioning the process by which our desires are formed and what it means to not be desired. At the same time, I will pursue belly dance: I always wanted but was prevented to. With both art forms combined, I want to explore the desirability status of my body when displayed in public. I don’t take being on stage for granted. But I am interested in embodiment in human and social and political life. By staging my own body, I want to ask audiences: can we change how and what we desire? I believe auto fiction has political purpose: giving marginalised people a place in the public domain. This experimental performance is an attempt to fight against deniability. It also wants to ask: "Where is the possibility of Love?"