By Samina Islam
I am a woman of color, a woman of faith, and an artist with somewhat restricted mobility. I feel very strongly about my identity in the western society. As a woman of faith and dual cultureI, I express the values of love and peace through my art. I am sharing my recent project called “My Identity,” which consists of 3 unique paintings. The three paintings I made for “My Identity” are “Migration,” “Euphoria,” and “Solidarity.”
It has always been a journey to find and establish my identity in different situations and different parts of the world. Through my art, I am able to express “My Identity” in an effective manner. My work in this space has helped me highlight the different colors of Pakistani, European, and English societies that have moulded my personality in their own unique ways. The different phases of my life — as a child to being a career woman, as a mother, and as a housewife — have all contributed to my art. The places I have visited and have lived, and the good and bad memories associated with them, give distinctive colors to my work. With the passage of time, these shades regardless of whether dull or bright, have become more attractive and worth appreciating.
My artwork revolves around cultural differences between East and West and people’s perception about me as an individual and as an immigrant. I am also able to express how I have been able to contribute to society. This beautiful experience of living in different societies has not only made my identity multidimensional, but also the whole journey more colourful and bright. My love for Germany and then England is unique in nature. After being forced to leave Pakistan due to the religious persecution I found my new homes in these countries. I was free to practice my religious beliefs without fear of persecution. This very freedom gives both countries a special place in my heart and encourages me to play my role in making society more tolerant and harmonious.
“Solidarity” is closest to my heart as it expresses that women of faith are such an integral part of western societies. They feel and go through the same pain when some terrible act of terrorism occurrs anywhere in the world. This particular painting represents the solidarity show of Ahmadiyya Muslim women at the Westminster Bridge after the Westminster Bridge Terrorist attack in January 2017. This is a practical example of Islamic teachings of peace and an expression of motto of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Love for all Hatred of None.
“My Identity” is my story through paintings. If you would like to see more of my work, please follow me firstname.lastname@example.org on instagram.
Samina Islam is a student of Art & Design at Kingston University, London. She is mother of 2 children and resides with her family in London.