Al Madda Al Oula
In Kuwait constitution’s nationality law, there are about 24 nationality articles. Kuwaiti nationals can be classified in their national identity card into different articles. The articles on the national identity card can be Article 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 8. The Kuwaiti nationality article 1 applies to those who have settled in the country prior to 1920, and those under this bracket are entitled to more political and social advantages than the rest. In the plight for equality, activists and the general public alike are appealing to the government for the abolishment of the article system. Looking at the bigger picture, it propagates discrimination and division, not just between Kuwaitis and immigrants in the country, but also internally among Kuwaitis themselves.
Certain government positions are only bestowed upon nationals holding article 1. And socially speaking, a lot of families are against marriages from Kuwaitis without Kuwaiti article 1 status. The article becomes not only a written constitution or law; it also merges with traditions, customs and complex social relations in the country. Generically speaking, this can symbolize the preferences and biases that happen all over the world.
This piece says “Article one” in Arabic calligraphy written in a tear shape. The tear shape in gold color plexi glass is often seen on top of contemporary dowry gift boxes, indicating the bride and groom’s names as a celebratory act of congratulating. The tear shape is used in this artwork to signify placing ‘’Article 1’’ on a pedestal- glorifying and giving importance to the classification, especially in marriage, for Article 1’s impact ultimately affects it. In marriage, the article becomes a limitation and I have witnessed love stories coming to an end because of this. The limitation becomes not only the law or knowledge itself, but the minds that interpret it. I wonder, what initiates this limitation; social orders or politics that create those orders?