In celebration of Black History Month, here is a list of black Muslim artist that you should have heard of.
1. Ejatu Shaw
This London-based artist makes art to explore her identity. Ejuaty Shaw is a multidisciplinary artist who does something different with her multi-faceted identity. Being British, Muslim, Fulani and West African, she sometimes struggles to find her place in all the communities she belongs to, she told Afropunk in an interview.
Her project ‘Poly’ is the result of all the identity struggles she has been going through. To her, her identity feels more synthetic. This is why she used polymeric materials to underline that exact synthetic feeling of her identity. She compares plastic, that “pollutes our oceans and landscapes” and when burned “releases toxic fumes” with her attempts to break her “cultural and religious upbringing”, that ended up being toxic for her.
On her website she explains that she uses “others around her as muses to explore her own insecurities and anxieties externally in a bid to resolve them”.
2. Farhiye Jama
This Somali visual artist, writer and photographer is based in Toronto. Farhiye Jama, or better known as Riya Jama centers her art around black women in sci-fi and space. On her Facebook page, the young artist wrote that most of her works are “centered on reclaiming her narratives of being a Muslim, Black, East African/Horner girl who grew up in a third culture.”
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hey everyone. missing posting my art but unfortunately due to my technology being broken or lack of space, haven't really been motivated or have the mental capacity. i'm still raising funds to be able to improve not only my skills as a visual artist but also repair/replace my existing equipment. it would mean a lot to me if y'all supported your girl because my art is a love letter for Black girls. i was almost at my end goal when I tried with gofund but I got racially profiled & I lost much of my donors (no hard feelings ❤️) due to the stressful process of getting their donations refunded. here is a #tbt piece that so many people love. ❤️ if you want to support, link is in my bio.
Futurism is an important aspect in her art pieces. This is not only seen in the choice of colours, but also in the elements she incorporates. She makes the unrealistic look realistic.
3. Munira Yussuf
Sweden-based Munira Yussif is a visual artist and illustrator that represents third culture kids and Black Muslims. This self-taught artist makes illustrations with a mysterious and spiritual feeling to it.
4. Warsan Shire
Warsan Shire is not only a writer and poet, she is a teacher too. Born in Kenya to Somali parents, she immigrated to the United Kingdom where she got a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing. She writes about people who are generally not heard. Refugees and immigrants are two examples.
“I tore up and ate my own passport in an airport hotel. I’m bloated with language I can’t afford to forget,” she said, implying how a single piece of paper decides over the human rights of someone.
Beyoncé even used her poetry in her visual album “Lemonade”.
5. Kareem Waris Olamilekan
The youngest, but decently not less talented, artist on this list is Kareem Waris Olamilekan. The past year Kareem, also known as WASPA, has been all over the news. This young artist makes very detailed portraits of people with a pencil and occasionally with a paint or ballpoint. His artworks are incredibly realistic. It’s no surprise that even Macron wanted to meet him and get a portrait.
6. Awol Erizku
Awol Erizku is an Ethiopian-born artist and Muslim. He creates art with the aim to draw attention to the lack of racial diversity in the history of painting. But he also uses his art to make his opinion on political issues clear. When Trump was elected as President he chooses to express his feelings towards the event through art.
The numbers in this artwork refer to the presidents. The numbers who are not crossed out are his favorites. Number 45 stands for Trump.
Awol Erizku is the one behind Beyoncé’s iconic pregnancy shoot.
7. Yusef Abdul Jaleel
Yusef Abul Jaleel is an African-American Digital Media Artist living in New York. As a Muslim revert he wants to combat the negative stereotypes associated with Muslim women of colour through his illustration series “Covered: Celebrating Muslim Women”.