This work began as me aiming to highlight the different versions of myself that exist in different spaces. Through establishing every stereotype I wanted to represent I realized that a lot of these characters have shaped who I am. The internalization of things such as being silenced by patriarchal figures has moulded me into the role I play within my family as I am expected to meet the expectations of a good Muslim girl.

The work speaks about current social and political issues with a viewpoint in the Indian Muslim community. The video does the work of calling out the harsh realities of the skewed narratives that surround issues within the community. It highlights how patriarchal thinking allows for issues to be swept under the rug and how the patriarchy silences women from speaking up against such issues. This patriarchy is so deep rooted it sees for women upholding it as a way to not be seen as disrespectful to the men around them as they themselves play a role of a ‘good’ Muslim woman.

It is exhausting not being allowed to be both the good Muslim girl and the lost art student. Yet I know that these two roles cannot co-exist due to a silencing and self-censorship caused by the expectations within the community.

The expectations of a young Muslim girl vs. me

but jee jazakallah alhamdulilah I can’t complain.

The other Zahras

In addition to this video I have been creating work in collaboration with Saajidah Fazluddin which is available to view on our Instagram account @Slamse_meisies