Three poets and flute player walk into a chicken shop…
It was a night of poetry exploring identity, politics and belonging.
Dervish Creative reached out and asked if I would be open to having some of my photography featured during the show. As Praveen Prathapan opened up the show with an incredible flute solo, images of Whitechapel market from my East London Hustle collection played in the background.
This was the first time I was able to see how my photography interplayed with music and poetry and how these art forms can combine to create a unified narrative.
The poets Zain Haider Awain, Jamal Mehmood and Zia Ahmed alongside Praveen captivated a packed house. I am looking forward to seeing what these talented creatives come up with next.
I recently I had the opportunity to cover the second annual Muslim Influencer Network Meet Up bringing together the leading Muslim Influencers across Modest Fashion, music, food and comedy.
There was a great buzz and the event provided an opportunity for everyone in the room to gather, reflect and refresh their mindsets, ready to go back out into the world and use their platforms for a purpose.
Personally for me it was a challenge to capture people in a non intrusive manner, allowing them to enjoy the day but also have the right images for the organisers to share post event.
Find out more at https://www.wearemin.co/
WISH I TOOK THIS: A regular series highlighting some of my favourite creatives.
Nahwand’s IG bio should read: “Got you stuck off the realness, I be the infamous.” One for my hiphop heads #RIPProdigy
The authenticity of his portraits always resonate with me as it’s something I have struggled with at times. It’s not easy capturing intimacy when someone is a complete stranger! You need to get the balance between the subject and their surroundings, offering just the right amount of context to bring the story to life.
I know he often uses a Sony 35mm 1.4 on his travels so on my recent trip to Kenya I visited the slums of Kibera armed with my Sony 35mm 2.8 instead of my trusted 50mm and tried to channel my inner Nahwand. I still have some way to go but in the meantime check out more of his work at https://www.instagram.com/nahwandjaff.photo/
This weekend, an artist reached out on Instagram and invited me to visit their latest installation as part of the Brixton Design Trail with the theme being Love is Power. Wasim is a team member from AWMA, a London based multi-disciplinary design collective made up of four creatives from diverse backgrounds and fields.
The project named ‘Hubb’ (meaning ‘love’ in Arabic) was placed in the middle of bustling Windrush Square, Just outside the Black Cultural Archives. Although not very large in size, stepping inside and gazing up through the tower is a truly transformative experience. The structure takes the concept of a minaret and shares it with the public. The call to prayer lures you in and once you are, you’re awestruck by the inscriptions of the 100 names of Allah (God).
AWMA hope Hubb will become an integrated metaphor of the power of bringing a community together in congregation, and in solitude, in sharing and in reflecting. I very much enjoyed watching the diverse community of Brixton be drawn to it by the reflective outer body in the afternoon sun.
The majority of the people I follow on Instagram are ridiculously talented photographers who I religiously stalk and admire. This weekend I had the opportunity to meet them in person as I attended my very first photowalk.
Off Centr's debut was a brilliant day out and a great chance to network, socialise and exercise those creative muscles. Instagram often gets a bad wrap due to the endless selfies and flat tummy tea adverts. However Off Centr was evidence that it can be used for something positive! Posting heart eye emojis under a picture doesn't compare to being able to tell a photographer in person how much you appreciate their work. Likewise, hearing from fellow creatives how your work inspires them is all the motivation you need to keep going and to keep challenging yourself. It definitely felt like a community is forming and I am very much looking forward to the next photowalk.
In the meantime check out a few of the images I captured below and make sure to follow @offcentr on Instagram.
WISH I TOOK THIS: A weekly series highlighting some of my favourite creatives.
There have been plenty of times where I have seen an image Kabz has uploaded and immediately tried to recreate it the next time I went shooting. For me, he exemplifies the importance of being multifaceted as a photographer: the judgement he makes on when to focus on a single moment and when to capture multiple layers is what makes him so talented! His reflection shots are my personal favourite as every time I return to them I uncover another element I missed previously.
Check out more of his work at https://www.instagram.com/kabzraj/
Along with my mother's patishapta and samosas, one of my favourite things about Eid is the congregational prayer in the park. Reviving the tradition of celebrating Eid ceremony outdoors, Eid in the Park at Valentines Park Ilford brings together the diverse community in Redbridge and surrounding areas to celebrate together. My family and I make our way down nice and early. I took advantage of getting there early and decided to take some pictures of my favourite outfits. I usually go for a safe white or black kurta so I always love seeing what others have gone for.