This discussion has shown the ways that Abdullah, as a member of a targeted minority in Australia, negotiates his identity as a racialized and spatialized subject in Australian cities. Abdullah strategically uses the tropes of representation, which are framed in terms of whiteness, and subverts them. In so doing, he uses the Muslim male body – himself, his father and his brother – to comment upon the power relations of looking, being looked at and being represented. His work also demonstrates how identity is constructed in racialized city spaces. As mentioned earlier, my study of one artist is limited so I do not claim to speak generally about Muslim artists in Australia, given their diversity. However, this study can highlight some issues and concerns that suggest that further in-depth empirical research is required. The politics of representation are at stake here: about who can speak for whom; in what gallery is this work presented and how it is received; and on what terms can work from the margins be incorporated into the mainstream.
This discussion has offered ways in which Abdullah uses various strategies to seduce the viewer and slow down the viewer’s process of cognition in order that the artwork may not be easily dismissed. The chapter draws attention to the impact of the urban spaces on the othered’ Muslim body – ways it can shape the experiences and identity of a young artist from a cultural group subject to social and economic marginalization in a globalized and partitioned city. The layers of ambiguity that are woven throughout the artwork position the non-Muslim viewer in a way that demands further questions rather than easy answers. Significantly, Abdullah’s work is one example of protest and resistance to the white Australian imagination and, as such, acts as a counter-discourse to a cheery and exoticized Australian multiculturalism. The smooth approach Abdullah employs is a strategy to protest in a non-confrontational way. As Nigerian and British artist Yinka Shonibare states, [y]ou are not going to even realise that I am protesting’ (Gellatly 2006).
Captivity Narrative of Mary Jemison Cairo Metro Map in the 1750s pub. 1824 During the French and Indian War, Mary Jemison was captured by Cairo Metro Map Native Countrys when she was some 15 years of age. Having lost her family and home during the raid, she feared for her life as she was taken to the Ohio frontier. It was customary for Seneca Indians who lost kin during battle to exact revenge by killing the enemy or to adopt a captive as a replacement for their lost family member. Mary Jemison, fortunately, was adopted by her captors.
Cairo Metro Map Photo Gallery
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