'At the beginning it was important to think about the black struggle as a total political struggle. There are common political forces and attitudes that discriminate against people. In the same way as feminism started off with this totalizing concept of 'sisterhood', and then ended up with many feminisms, if you like. The black struggle became more diversified once the basic issues were established. And blackness here is not to do with the colour of your skin but a political stance. In the early 1980s I don't think I saw my practice as part of the black struggle, I was doing my own thing. I have always worked in an intuitive way and couldn't see my work as serving any group political or otherwise. I was basically trying to deal with an environment that I had experienced as hostile and intolerant and eventually those feelings began to pervade the work - and still do. For instance, they are evident in a piece I've just made for the current exhibition at De Appel: a little doormat made of pins with the word 'Welcome', in it. It's related to a series of works I made just last year which had to do with carpets. Visually I find it quite beautiful, because the word 'Welcome' is made with short pins, so its like a little recess within the surface of the mat. From a distance you see the word clearly, but when you get close and you look down at it, the word almost disappears' (M. Hatoum in conversation with M. Archer, 1996, reproduced in M. Archer, G. Brett & C. de Zegher, Mona Hatoum, London 1997, p. 14).