Mexican artist living in London, UK.

In realm of artistic exploration, Frida Kahlo created a painting of watermelons entitled ‘Viva la Vida’ in her final act of creative expression just eight days before her death in 1954. Kahlo’s background itself is a fusion of cultures. She was born to a German father with Hungarian roots and a Mexican mother with Spanish and Indigenous descent. The watermelon is not only a muse for Kahlo, but also a powerful symbol in Palestinian History. After 1967 Six-Day War, characterised by Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, the watermelon became an unexpected symbol for Palestinians. Faced with the Israeli government’s ban on displaying its flag in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the Palestinians adopted the watermelon, whose cut-open shape reflects the national colours of green, red, white and black. Apart from the Palestinian symbolism, the watermelon is also in the colours of the Mexican flag-red, green and white. This convergence of cultural symbols adds further layers to the exploration of identity and shared narratives. In my performance, I explore the symbolism of the watermelon as a metaphor for life itself and examine a deeply personal aspect of this act in public space.

London, 2024

Photo by Ali Mohamed