MAHTAB HUSSAIN’S exhibition “You Get Me”?, at Autograph ABP in London, comprises 24 portraits of young South Asian Muslim men in working-class neighbourhoods of Nottingham, London and Birmingham. Mr Hussain hopes to stimulate conversation around one of the most maligned groups in Britain, many of whom feel designated a threat to their country, and how growing up exposed to hostility can feed alienation and dislocation. Mr Hussain talked The Economist through the exhibition before the recent terror attacks in Manchester and London. In their wake, the themes of “You Get Me?” are yet more urgent.
First and foremost, Mr Hussain wanted to shift perceptions of young Muslim men by turning on them the kind of admiring lens usually reserved for the highborn and famous. Their pride, dignity and exuberant style burn brightly and bristle with defiance. These portraits highlight how rare it is to see young brown men represented in this way in mainstream media, advertising and museums and galleries. On the morning The…Continue reading
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