Mireille Astore: the foreigner I know

Mireille Astore

January 18, 2012 8:00 pm

“l’étranger est une cicatrice.” a scar that reminds me that she has crossed a certain border. It is a line that intercepts memory and future possibilities; a timid conception of what I am capable of and yet does not have the strength to materialise. She, the foreigner is perpetually returning to the body: her mother’s. An orphan having engaged in an act of self-mutilation, she begins to claim freedom from her past until ‘the time of orphanhood comes about’ and she discovers that sensations can be her focus. But mapped from birth, she was born in a cocooned cell with writing all over it. Through the scar, however, the foreigner recognizes the inevitability of healing and continues the search to find that particular space she can claim her own.

Mireille Astore (ميراي عيد استوري) is an artist and a writer. She and her parents fled the Lebanese civil war and her beloved Beirut in 1975 to live in Australia. She has a bachelor of science and a studio and theory Ph.D. in contemporary arts titled missing Lebanon: art and autobiography. Her artworks have been exhibited in over twenty countries and she has given a number of performances and public lectures internationally. She is currently adjunct lecturer at Sydney College of the arts, the visual arts faculty of the University of Sydney, and a research affiliate at the American University of Beirut. She is the recipient of the prestigious Australian government 2011 endeavour research fellowship award.