Razan Abou Askar 

Razan 5

Razan Abou Askar
 is a Palestinian-Finnish independent artist living in Helsinki. Her studies of English Language and Literature, as well as a love for art, which runs in the family, reinforced her artistic interests, especially in terms of writing and performance art. Growing up abroad and having been born to a family who emigrated from Palestine to the Middle East and Europe long ago, Razan explores in different ways what it means, emotionally and psychologically, to be caught in between these different worlds. The quest for individual liberty and contemporary women’s socio-cultural circumstances are some of the issues inspiring her to write a number of short stories and poetry.

Photo: Sepideh Rahaa




the outer layer

I want to strip

and not feel naked

or vulnerable

peel the skin that smells like reproval

I want soul I want heart

see this body go mural


the thought of shame

I want to strip

away my name

cover skin with soil and cause turmoil

in this game

called blame


the borders

drawn around an earth bound to


mistaking unity for infantry

confusing “normativeness” for “naturalness”


or neighbours

—selfsame turning of tables


the socialisation into maleness and femaleness

I want to strip


and wear you

till we become undifferentiated

till I no longer need to strip

to be naked

with you