In the 1980s–1990s, Araeen created 3 x 3 grids made up of nine panels using disparate and fragmented images from the world around him. Known now as his Cruciform works, this series of works was created in the context of the ebbing of Third World struggle, the end of the Cold War, the consolidation of a restructured capitalism, and a new round of imperialist wars.
In Jouissance (1993–94), the centre photograph features a Mulsim woman in complete purdah being offered a cigarette by a glamorous white woman who smiles generously. Three cigarettes protrude from the packet which advertises the name "West".
The four surrounding photos show television images of a bombed and destroyed city. The work was created shortly after the Gulf War, which, as he watched the bombardment of war images from Karachi, highlighted to Araeen the growing power of information technology in the form of satellite television.
The use of this advert demonstrates how the pernicious after-effects of colonialism are psychological as well as economic and social. While the colonised became the exotic other for the coloniser, the white European became the ideal other for the colonised. This is reinforced culturally by the export of American and European cinema, television programmes and by advertising, with the latter often directed towards the creation of world markets for products produced by or under franchise from the West, or else exploits the idealised image of white people.
The juxtaposition of the images of warfare with the advert highlights Western identity as a construction imposed by violence and coercion on a colonised society.