© 2016 by Sobia Ahmad

Small Identities

Small Identities

2017 – ongoing

ID photos of Muslim immigrants on ceramic tiles

Dimensions variable (108 tiles, as of June 2019)

 

In 2017, as the United States president issued an Executive Order to ban travel from several predominantly-Muslim countries, I began collecting passport-sized ID photos of my family, relatives, friends, and colleagues that are Muslim immigrants in the U.S. Interested in drawing connections between home and architecture and othering of this community, I began to transfer the ID photos onto Islamic-shaped 'Arabesque' tiles, a popular interior decoration motif in American homes. Soon, I learned that people were afraid to submit their photos, citing intense fear of violence and hatred. For every person who told me they were too afraid to submit their ID photo, I added a blank tile to the installation to represent them. Over the last two years, this project has transformed into a documentation of the widespread fear among Muslim immigrants in my immediate community. 

This is an ongoing project and I am also conducting interviews with those who choose not to submit their ID photo. If you would like to participate either by submitting your ID photo or sharing why you don't feel comfortable doing so, please contact me at SobiaAhmad92@gmail.com. Learn more about the project