You may have seen these vivid, beautiful images of Muslim women circulating on social media in celebration of International Women’s Day. The artist responsible is Fahad Mohamed based in San Diego, California. He talked to us about the inspiration behind his photography.
“My name is Fahad Mohamed I’m from sunny San Diego, California, originally Somali. My interest in photography came from my deep passion and love for movies and also my younger brother Haadi who always inspired me creatively. I grew up in the east side of San Diego which is the epicenter of culture and characters from all walks of life. I think it’s a special place because it’s the only place in the country where different genres of culture religion, food and even struggles all cross each other so gracefully.”
“San Diego is a place where the Muslim ban and the border immigration issues bring two random communities together in solidarity, its a place where you can go skate boarding after Friday prayer or decide to have either Somali, Burmese, Mexican or Even Mediterranean food. The sense of community is what I try to capture in my work, I also try to capture the genre blending of culture I witness and try to bring them to life. I always feel honored whenever I get opportunities to create because I feel like it is my duty to make art for people that come from similar backgrounds and to make sure that they are being represented by people who come from their communities, religious backgrounds and countries.”
“For this series my inspiration was my mother because she is always wearing oddly bright colored jilbabs and it always reminded me of Warhol pop art paintings. She even helped me make the jilbabs out of scratch and we scouted all over the city for different backgrounds. I wanted to represent women like my mother and sisters and the women in my community that shine.”
Mohamed also has a series called ‘Ramadan Nights’, completely different from the previous images yet equally as breathtaking. “After tarawih, me and all my friends would go to the skate park and hang out all night. I thought it looked very cool how the khamis flowed in the wind and I wanted to capture that” he said.