“Insider Outsider”: Artist Saks Afridi Creates Fantastic Traditional Hand-Made Rugs Covered With UFO Patterns
Saks Afridi is an art-based Creative Director and multi-disciplinary artist with 17 years of both US and global experience. He’s the proud recipient of 2 Gold Cannes Lions, 3 D&AD, 2 One Show pencils and a UN award for peace and understanding, in 2015.
“Pakistan, the country of my birth is a somewhat unfamiliar place to me today. It has changed so much, I sometimes feel like an alien there. The difference in ideology is so vast, it’s easy to feel like an outsider. Meanwhile in my adopted home of New York City, I feel completely at home, but at times, I’m an alien here too. And so like many others I maintain the status of a temporary yet permanent, Insider Outsider. And sometimes vice versa.
I was born in Peshawar, Pakistan and originate from a village nearby called Babri Banda. This is the heartland of the Pashtun people. Over the years, the culture in the region has shifted drastically. Like in Iran, we all grew up hearing stories of Pakistan’s happier, more open-minded times. And while Pakistan was never supremely moderate, the radicalization of our age refuses to cease. Personally, while I speak Urdu and Pashto, and visit Pakistan often, I still feel like an alien sometimes. Truth is, people living there feel like aliens. In fact, I find it’s a universal feeling. In my work, the UFO represents the outsider. The patterns surrounding it represents the insider. I find the combination of Eastern traditional craftsmanship and Western contemporary sensibilities, has led me to this work and a category I refer to as Sub- Continental Futurism.”