Leaving Home

Lebanon: Whether for love or war, when life sends you packing, it’s hard to imagine what you would prioritise. Lebanese brand Bokja has revealed its latest collection entitled “Migration Series”, which pays homage to ephemeral lifestyles and embodies the spirit of living on-the-go.

Huda Baroudi, co-founder of Bokja, explained: “We always say that Bokja is very ‘of the moment’ and this transient, moveable lifestyle is the reality of the world today, particularly in our region of the world. We as Lebanese obsess on getting a second passport, to freely move about the world, all the while carrying with us the idea of our country wherever we go.”

“The act of leaving one’s country of origin in search of a better life has and continues to reshape the world. We were compelled to talk about the idea of endless possibilities that lie ahead, while questioning the things that get left behind,” the brand’s second co-founder Maria Hibri added.

The collection, which includes an array of furniture and decorative pieces represent elements that are familiar to those who are always moving. For example, the Migration Sofa called “Love boat” has rolled-up rugs and tapestries strapped to the back, and a drawer at the base which is evocative of a suitcase.

Baroudi said: “[Love Boat] was installed with rolled up fabrics, tapestries [and] pillows, illustrating the feeling of being over burdened by possessions that are too precious to leave behind.

Filled with the tension and the bitter sweet story of packing up your belongings and putting your family on the move, there is hope for a better opportunity, but also the sad reality of leaving behind your history and origins.”

In addition to the Love Boat, the Migration Series also includes a rug called “Schengen”, which was hand-woven by Tibetan artisans and is shaped like France, symbolising the current trend of tax evasion happening across the European country.

Hibri commented: “As we know with Gerard Depardieu, people are even leaving France for tax evasion purposes. The topic is very emotional and we also wanted to include a more light-hearted side to the story by including well known celebrity stories and people in the news.”

Each product from the Migration Series carries a recognisable Bokja touch and incorporates the illustrative textiles the brand is known for using, while some new designs have been introduced like the carpet, plate set and wallpaper, among others.

“We also experimented with digitally printing our signature assemblages to create a slip cover, titled ‘Second Skin’.

The overall look of the collection, at first glance, seems quite different from the signature Bokja look. We really toned down the colour for this collection, which immediately communicated a different mood. The Bokja voice was still strong with our embroideries and assemblages, but we were telling a different story,” said Hibri.

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