My name is Sheinina Lolita Raj, a person who was born from distinctively diverse ancestors, culturally, religiously, linguistically and physically.
Racially speaking I am half Indian and half English. I do however consider myself Canadian. Believing in the promised land of Canada my parents immigrated to Vancouver when I was five years old. Hopeful that I would enjoy a peaceful life free of prejudices we said farewell to loved ones for good. Although, the truth is you cannot run from racism. I can remember tearfully expressing to my father how I did not want to be brown as children would tease. While I have grown to appreciate the tonality of my skin, in this era of cultural assimilation my identity continues to be misunderstood.
As a person of ethnic descent living in the multicultural metropolis of Los Angeles for more than a decade, I’ve become keenly aware of racial prejudices. Mankind has evolved to visually interpret their environment, a survival instinct ensures individuals are categorized.
When the colour of my skin presents an unfamiliar reference, inevitably a barrier of discriminative notions are formed. In honour of cultural diversity, “Intercultural” reflects just how different yet the same we are. Adorned in the worldly traditional regalia of Armenia, Egypt, Greece, Guatemala, Hawaii, India, Jordan, Mexico, Native America, North America, Pakistan, Portugal, Saudi-Arabia, Spain, and Turkey, this collection of self-portraits unifies authentic heritages. As cultures around the world collide this art could not come at a more precarious time. Raising awareness to the misinterpretation of the nationalities living in our modern day societies, “Intercultural” enlightens ideologies while initiating a common respect for all humanity and ultimately a peaceful coexistence.