Do we really need to tell you how great London is? It’s one of the most diverse cities in the world, where people of all backgrounds work, live and – every so often – carve a path for themselves that will see them loved for all the right reasons.
Sadly, there are some Londoners who the powers-that-be consign to little boxes, giving the impression that they aren’t capable of doing all the great stuff that the rest of the capital gets up to.
For the photographer Lamisa Khan and artists Zeinab Saleh and Sara Gulamali, some of these Londoners were Muslim women. Thanks to reductive media representations and unhelpful comments from influential individuals, the trio felt that Muslim women were either viewed as an oppressed underclass or only celebrated as ‘stereotype breakers.’
Wanting to promote the visibility of ‘normal’ Muslim woman – as in, those who go about their lives, who hang out with friends, who are happy and successful but not necessarily YouTube famous – the trio co-founded Muslim Sisterhood to capture, as Lamisa told Huck, ‘normal Muslim girls who aren’t bloggers, fashionistas or “stereotype breakers”.’
Check out some of the shots below:
While the portraits do a lot to challenge negative notions of Muslim woman, this isn’t the project’s primary goal. As Zeinab explained to Huck: ‘Rectifying stereotypes is a lot of emotional labour that we shouldn’t have to do. Our intention is to celebrate the multiplicities of Muslim women.’
Looking at the photos, it’s clear this intention has been fulfilled. These are strong young women of varied ethnic heritage, framed by a city that’s just as diverse and powerful as they are.
Be sure to explore the rest of the Muslim Sisterhood project on Instagram.