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Breathe Freedom
by Sonia Gupta



By Jenan Ismail





sitting with your knees three feet apart:


I had to teach myself to take up space.


You were taught to fill up a room

and I was taught to fold in on myself

until my spine would finally snap

like the brittle branch of an olive tree

in a home unfamiliar.


Our mother, our grandmothers…

have you seen them lately?

They are outspoken - but only when appropriate.


I had once accepted 

that eventually

all our branches would snap.


But I am unlearning my compliance

and one day I will be half as loud as you are

and then I will grow louder still.



Jenan Ismail is a Palestinian senior Multimedia Design student at the College of Art, Architecture, and Design. Throughout her studies, she's gained experience in a wide range of creative practices, including photography, motion graphics and animation, painting, 3D modeling, and interactive design – but her favorite thing to do is make short films. (She also likes to write, occasionally.) In 2016 Jenan was shortlisted for the Sheikha Manal Young Artist Award photography submission, and was the winner of the group submission – along with Mohammad Mhaisen – for their short film ‘Diverge’. After graduating, she hopes to continue creating cool stuff, in whatever medium or form it may take. You can find examples of her work here and here

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