Infinitely Searching

As I grow into my adulthood, never-ending reflection has consumed me—unpacking the way I was raised, my experiences, my relationships, etc., in order to understand why I am the way I am. I’ve begun to see the ways that I am a reflection of my parents individually, though for almost all my life, I have been puzzled by the ways my parents’ marriage has influenced the way I conceptualize and experience love. As two Ethiopian immigrants, my parents’ love for each other is in no way expressed through mainstream understandings of romance as linked to physical affection. I have never seen them kiss. For so long, it was unsettling, and this was entirely because their relationship was one that diverted from limited mainstream Western media deceptions of love—as white, physically affectionate, and romanticized. I saw exploring this as depicting my most recent trip to Ethiopia, the first time in my life that I experienced an intense familial physical affection, and unpacking the media I consumed as a child. I think even after experiencing an ever-increasing level of internal conflict while doing this project, I still searched for answers about my parents’ relationship—attempting to internally validate it in relation to what I have believed my whole life. This said, I now realize that truly validating it means not even doing this. It rather means examining my own insecurities, consciousness, and internal conflict while navigating the white cisheteronormative western world that I live and grew up in. This is what my film, Infinitely Searching, does. It is an excerpt of my subconscious—infinitely searching for the idealized and unrealistic expectations the western world has and continues to embed in me.

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