3 Hours and 5 Razors Later

This series of tiles was made as a response to ignorant and racist assumptions I have encountered during my life. A lot of it relates to my body and being a hairy South Asian woman. They were made at a time when I was beginning to reconnect with my cultural identity after neglecting it and pushing it away during my childhood. A lot of this rejection stems from the social and political climate growing up post 9/11, and the Islamophobia and racist undertones surrounding me. Some are things that I have heard others say, and some are thoughts and responses from myself. The tiles were chosen, because a large focus at the time was body hair, notably how thick it grows on brown women and the acts of removing it becoming ritualistic. I wanted to replicate the domestic space, specifically the bathroom and incorporate aspects of this into the work.

 

This work was exhibited at the first Asian Women's Festival in Birmingham in 2019. The festival aims to smash stereotypes and stigma to empower Asian Women through culture, art and conversation. This is an example of a marginalised community creating opportunities for themselves in order to generate important conversations and self representation, where mainstream art and media fails to. The day included panel discussions around cross cultural issues affecting young Asian women today, and helped to showcase up and coming artists, who otherwise struggle gaining visibility. 

©2019 by Yasmeen Thantrey