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Farah Al Qasimi’s The Swarm (2021) is an immersive video installation that portrays the story of a social media influencer who becomes addicted to a meditation and wellness app. Through the app, the influencer seeks refuge from her daily surroundings and becomes engrossed in a metaphysical vacation on a tropical island. There, she befriends a swarm of dancing jellyfish who tell her stories about her seafaring ancestors.
In The Swarm, the influencer is portrayed as someone seeking to escape daily life, which suggests a desire to explore and redefine her identity beyond the limitations of her current existence. This exploration of personal and ancestral histories aligns with the exhibition’s theme Refracted Identities, Shared Futures, as light allows us to look back at the past and speculate on our time and place within the greater cosmos.