Through a colourful mix of documentary and fictional images, the Kuwaiti artist concerns her country’s standard position on sexual identity. Her self-portraits aim to break patriarchal stereotypes, claiming the right to live beyond the imposed ways of being oneself.
In Kuwaiti slang the word Umbai expresses a declaration of surprise at the absurd and unanticipated. It is scheduled only for the tongues of Kuwaiti females a lot that if a man just says the word, they are implicated of being gay. The word represents how dominant discourses manage gender and sexuality in modern-day Kuwaiti society. In this context, artist Munirah Almehri has actually had an interest in the manner ins which queer futurism becomes an important tool for those denied a future under the hetero-patriarchy.
Operating through the confidential, the ridiculous, the stereotyped, the ultra-binary, and the phantasmic, the author has actually developed five characters in their own idealistic worlds to portray the potentiality of other ways of being. Manoeuvring between documentary photography and constructed self-portraits, the work illustrates a culturally-bound expression of queer idealism.
“The here and now is a jail home. We need to make every effort, in the face of the here and now totalising rendering of truth, to believe and feel a then and there.” José Esteban Muñoz
Words and images by Munirah Almehri
Munirah Almehri (Kuwait) is a professional photographer based in London, whose work has actually been released locally and worldwide. Her current project, Umbai, checks out brand-new methods of being through built self-portraits that provide culturally-bound expressions of queerness. Her previous work handle the production of speculative “anarchives” to depict Kuwait’s relationship between nationalism, faith, and modernity. In response to her interests in technocolonialism and datafication as disciplinary power, she reorganizes specific signs of the past into the present to criticise the false pledge of development through innovation. In 2022 Almehri finished from the Goldsmiths University of London with a Bachelor in Media and Communications. Follow her on Instagram and PhMuseum.
This feature belongs to Story of the Week, a choice of relevant tasks from our neighborhood handpicked by the PhMuseum managers.