|Written by Yalda Pashai|
|19 Jul 2012|
Cultural and religious barriers in some parts of the world have created an environment of repression concerning sexuality. In Islamic cultures, homosexuality and transsexuality are rarely addressed publicly, and are seldom discussed in private circles. Illuminations is an attempt to bring visibility to queer Muslims and acknowledge the freedom of human sexuality, faith in Islam and self-reflection. The main focus of this work is how individuals reconcile their sexual identity with their Muslim identity. It aims to challenge the Muslim community, as well as those of other faiths, by questioning stereotypes and presenting the realities of being Muslim and gay.
The series was created in Toronto, Canada and is comprised of individuals from various backgrounds. Each person posed with the material of their choosing as a way of voicing their personality. This work not only explores diverse sexualities in our society, but it also looks at the diverse ethnicities and differing self-views of being a Muslim.