Acrylic ink blend on vintage cotton/ polyester. Worn to red carpet event at Fez Music Festival in Morocco, 2018.
Worn composition/ fashion, is a place to explore text and tradition through embodiment. Not just the Word, but it’s lived realities, translations, and transformations.
The back text is a contemporary inspiration. It reads la ilaha ilallah, “there is no God but God”. Front breast detail is in Thuluth, the second part of the shahada. It reads, muhammadan rasulallah, “and Muhammad is His messenger.”
The wearer is pressed between two texts like worlds. He becomes a walking testament of faith, keeping tradition near his heart and an inspired flow at his back, working out the space between in each moment, with each step. Which the manner in which he lives the answers themselves.
Tracing locations of culture and personhood, Homi Bhabha contemplates How Newness Enters the World. He writes that it’s through ‘splitting and displacement’ that ‘the architecture of the new historical subject emerges at the limits of representation itself’. Some things break, others get born in places of unspeakable rupture.
Perhaps what looks like a splitting is at other times a brave insistence on wholeness—a rupture, not in personhood, but methods of categorization, power, and control. It speaks in all directions at once, refusing to pick between the place one is from and the place one is headed— between the footprints of one’s father and the stranger’s shadow tin the hollows where one’s own feet have been.