Mother tongue makeout


This series is an ode to my fucked up accent. No one can ever guess where I am from on hearing it. With a dash of this and a twang of that I have been told I sound.. Scottish? No mate, I am half Syrian, half Iranian-Baluchi by way of Uganda, London born and bred. My mouth carries within it worlds of expression and these days, instead of trying to fix, hide or avoid saying certain words out loud, I embrace and accept it. Hence the sensuality of this piece, the Mother Tongue Makeout Series.


Dedicated to all the children in the diaspora and their English “mispronounciations”.

Prints available on request.

Mama © Asma Istwani 2019

l learned how to speak English from a woman whose tongue had already been kissed by another land before she reached this one, of course I was going to have an accent.

Pepe © Asma Istwani 2019


The fabric of my father’s accent is so thick that at times you wouldn’t believe that he thinks and dreams in English, but he does.

Mama, 2019

Pepe, 2019

Their Daughter © Asma Istwani 2019
Pepe II © Asma Istwani 2019

Their Daughter, 2019

Pepe II, 2019