Carla Swerts studied Illustration at the Media Arts & Design Faculty in Hasselt and is currently working on a PhD in the arts at Hasselt University. In her PhD project ‘Orientalism Revisited’ she questions the representation of the Middle East in the West. Its connotation with violence and threat on the one hand and with exotic fantasies on the other makes the Orient unpopular in contemporary western art. Swerts contradicts these stereotypes by representing the sensory and narrative aspects of her experiences and travel impressions. Her work is influenced by graphic techniques based on archaeological drawings and topographical maps, old photographs and travelogues from writers and artists who visited the Orient in past centuries. Carla is a laureate of Toegepast 19.