Al-Jannah: Paradise


Al-Jannah is the Arabic word for paradise.

Inspired by Frida Kahlo’s “My Grandparents, My Parents, and I (Family Tree)” painting, I embarked on a collage exploration of my familial, religious, and personal development juxtaposed with the popular culture and normative ideals that surrounded me as a youth. Utilizing entries from my first diary, excerpts from children’s books about Islam that were give to me when i was young, passages written by myself and my brother when we were in elementary school, excerpts from my poems, and family photos, I contrast the idea of what the “Muslim” family should be and how they should act, with how my family lived and existed. Here, Islamic passages and codes rub up against Adina Howard in booty shorts, and diary entries of familial dysfunction border illustrations of smiling Muslims. This is a collage of juxtaposition and daring contrast- all elements of my development.

Collage on wood. Mixed media. August 2009.