This multimedia series comprises of textile work, performance (The Alif Series) and video, attempts to use the feminine craft of fiber and textile based art to create a landscape of a fictitious queer rebellion. Set in the future of an earth that may or may not belong to us, this revolution is seen through the eyes of a queer Muslim world intent on overthrowing the shackles of Western Imperialism. The aspiration behind this series is to subvert the Western gaze of the Muslim and by extension brown and black body by creating glamorous and high femme queered future guerrilla fighters who do not fit neatly into categories of gender, race, faith, threat or desirable subject. It seeks to challenge the shifting borders between terrorist and freedom fighter as seen and named by the Anglo-Saxon world.
The series takes from multiple archives including – but not limited to – photos I took of wrestling cultures in my home, Pakistan and writing sourced from an Urdu children’s book, Stories of Rambo, an account of Hollywood hero Rambo and his brave fight against the Soviet Union alongside the Mujahideen. Through writing and image, a narrative is literally written and illustrated over a prolonged period of time.
Historical archive becomes a lens into an unknown world, most likely in the future but also into a planet that defeats notions of time and place. The series is largely inspired by my own personal history as witness to a politically violent world, the writings of Jasbir K. Puar and Amit Rai in Monster Terrorist Fag and the limitless possibilities presented to us Ursula Le Guin and Octavia Butler.
These Images comprise the visual textile based portion of the series that illustrates individual aspects of this alter reality.