MUSLIM PIDGINS, ISLAMIC VERNACULAR ART + ARCHITECTURE, AFRO-ISLAMIC ART
This ongoing series of works emerged in response to the lack of presence of sub-saharan Africans in popular imaginings and representations of Islamic and Muslim Identity, especially contemporary Islamic Art. Through this work I seek to represent conflicts of belonging that can often emerge in the Ummah (Islamic diaspora) for Sub-Saharan Africans because of White and Arab supremacy. The work is especially interested in africanizations of Islamic culture, 'paganistic' practices, and pidgin or so-called vernacularizations of Arab-Islamic 'traditional' practices.
this piece is grounded in the the afro-lslamic-pagan practice of huntu. huntu is a healing practice, practiced by many muslims in contemporary nigeria which involves writing scriptures from the quran and other holy texts onto animal skins. the skins are then rinsed so that the scripture, along with their metaphysical properties are taken into the water used for rinsing. this water is collected and consumed by the ailing person, and with it so are the healing capacities of the scripture.
this piece features an image of my late-sister in nigeria before her immigration to america in 1988. the scripture written over her includes various ayats of the quran on death, the nature of death, crisis, grief, and depression. through this practice i engage both the haunting of photograph as a past capturing technology and the literal haunting of my sister, as a ghost whose narrative i seek to rewrite.