Booky Brown Girl : An On Going Exploration by Sara Gulamali
Exploring what it means to be a British, South Asian Muslim youth today. The conflict and the feelings of displacement that can exist between the two identities. That 'mix' of being not British enough to be British (whatever it means to be British nowadays) and not Asian enough to be Asian, I was often labelled a 'coconut', hence why that image sometimes prevails within my imagery. This idea of being brown on the outside and white on the inside. I couldn't speak my parents' language, and I didn't go out drinking or clubbing with my friends (which can seem like a big deal when you see how big the drinking culture is in London universities). It felt like I wasn't accomplished in either side of my culture and was constantly having to be apologetic to the west, purely because of my faith or where my parents were born.
I began combining images and artefacts relevant to my everyday life, whether it be from my Muslim, Asian or British background. Halal signs, Adidas tracksuits, prayer matts, chai, Nike; taking the familiar and everyday for young people like me and challenging it, offering a new perspective and way of embracing who we are.
I found solace in the way that I was able to explore these notions within my imagery, and through posting them online was introduced to so many likeminded people and communities dealing and discussing these very issues.
The term 'people of colour' never held as much power as I think it does now, and with so many creatives from these backgrounds speaking out about issues of identity and belonging, I have faith that our future is bright.
Sara Gulamali is a 20 year old multi media artist and illustrator, studying Fine Art at Central Saint Martins, London. You can follow her work on Instagram @sarag.art