Zahidah donated her artwork The Self to educate children in local schools about the mangroves through art-activism. She explains her work here:
The Self, acrylic, resin chopped tree, mask (my face and hands) heavy knife used to chop trees, wire, wood, plaster, leaves, cardboard, inner shoe, 2017.
This art work talks about my feelings toward the daily destruction of the mangroves, which I witnessed daily while going kayaking or running in Umm Al Quwain in the UAE. I had a period of time when I felt I was one of those mangroves trees especially when I painted or sketched them. I spent a long time with the mangroves and I feel I know them very well! I felt their pain too!
I faced waves of difficulty while working to protect the mangroves, and yet so much support, too.
For this art work I borrowed the myth of Daphne turning into a laurel tree! There is a certain satisfaction and a beauty, I feel, of becoming a tree! I wish I could be a tree!
The Self is located at the Sharjah American International School in Umm Al Quwain.