2001 signified a major shift, a year of events that generated unprecedented racial tension between the west and everyone sharing a brown skin tone, namely those of the Muslim, Mena and South Asian diasporas. Any positive narrative beginning to build around second and third generation immigrants abruptly waned. It was the year that the North West of England suffered three months of race riots as white British men fought with Brits of Indian, Bangladeshi and Pakistani descent across the region. 2001 was of course also the image event of the century, a bleakly pivotal moment for our contemporary existence and the biggest catalyst for Islamophobia - 9/11.
Amongst these defining socio-political events, boxer Prince Naseem Hamed, one of the most public members of the Muslim faith and one of the greatest sportsmen to have ever lived, experienced his first ever [and final] loss. Hamed was a symbol for Brown kids the world over, he transcended both colour and religion and was celebrated globally as a supreme athlete. Rashid deftly centres Hamed’s first loss and the sportsmens unceremonious and rapid demise as mirroring a global endemic; the demise of visibility for brown identity in western popular culture.
Rashid's tri-narrative video work interrogates the so called War on Terror and the destruction of Muslim and Brown identity. Positioning the temporal backdrop of 2001 Rashid's work meditates on the personal and socio-political effects these events enacted on Mena, Muslim and South Asian identity, paying recognition to the fractures that this year caused, alongside the irreparable trauma left within these communities.
Rashid's video work acts as both a catalyst and context for the group exhibition which platforms a multiplicitous dialogue made up of emerging British voices from the Mena, Muslim and South Asian diasporas. Artists Sabiheh Awanzai, Jannat Hussain, Alaa Kassim, Meryem Meg, Vivek Vadoliya contribute work that reclaims and repositions representation, through a celebration of the strength of their shared political imaginary.
Curated by Lorén Elhili
Private View 11th September 6-9PM with opening night performance from Spoken Word Collective Yoniverse at 7pm.
Artist Talk Thursday 13th September 7-9PM
Exhibition Continues until 30th September