"How ISIS Broke My Questionnaire" by Molly Mendoza for Nautilus Art Print
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- Gallery quality Giclée print
- Natural white, matte, ultra smooth background
- 100% cotton, acid and lignin-free archival paper
- Epson K3 archival inks for high-quality print
- Custom trimmed with 1” border for framing
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About this artwork
How ISIS Broke My Questionnaire: I felt the impact of an attack by the terrorist group. So why didn’t my research data? By Lydia Wilson
Illustration by Molly Mendoza
I walk into Starbucks in Achrafieh, Beirut and feel all eyes on me. I tug at my top self-consciously, probably making things worse, and wonder a) do I look like an easy Westerner; b) do I look like a ragamuffin (in comparison to the groomed Lebanese); c) are my shoes weird for this country (I think so); or d) have I got something on my face? This feeling says as much about my state of mind as it does about anyone’s judgement, and I know from past fieldwork that the self-consciousness lessens over time. But it’s early days, so even my order is whispered and has to be repeated, shrivelling inside.
Then I find an empty seat too quickly, so that I don’t notice I’m actually boxed in and can’t easily approach anyone at all. This is all going fairly disastrously. Coffee will surely help, I think; but after drinking it I can’t say I feel any better. The girl over the way is stuck into her Kindle and won’t make eye contact. There’s a man making rather too much eye contact and I don’t want to speak to him. There are two old men, deep in a discussion I don’t want to interrupt. There is a haughty and very sexy woman I feel shabby even looking at, tapping at her diamante iPhone with long red clicky nails.
The longer I sit there the worse it gets, as I’ve been looking around for far too long and then not doing anything. Do I move onto the next cafe? That’s admitting defeat and I know it won’t be any easier anywhere else. One last look around and I spy a lovely pretty face, sitting by herself, looking out of the window. I go over and she smiles up. “I’m sorry to interrupt, do you speak English?” I say, in English, pathetically. She nods. “Are you Lebanese?” Another nod. “I’m doing some research…”
Read more here: http://nautil.us/issue/21/information/the-isis-in-the-room