Toy-Yiebah Cupido

Artist Catalogue

Virtual Exhibition

Religion has always been somewhat of a hard concept for me to grasp. Specifically owing to the fact that my parents and other relatives have taught me in a way that has left me more distanced from the religion than was their intention.

I was told that for every sin I should commit, or anything I did that was not in accordance with the Islamic way of life, would not be forgiven by God. I have come to realise that misinformation and personal ideologies has been the main point in relaying the delusive idea of God and the religion I was brought up in.

The headscarf bothered me the most. It has been the epitome of a Muslim woman’s appearance. Looking like a Muslim, while perhaps not necessarily being a Muslim. This is how I had viewed this piece of material, one of the many factors that represents a woman in Islam. I was told, constantly, to cover my head. Yet my question remained, would I be doing it for my mother or God? I could not honestly identify as a true Muslim woman. What I did want, however, was to relearn my religion and relearn who my God was.

The Hijab and my experiences with it, was the entry point for me to consider what Religion, [is cap R necessary?] any religion, was about. This topic has allowed me to think about other’s experiences with Religion, [is cap R necessary?] how they had received information. Unsurprisingly, I had placed quite a significant emphasis on my mother’s role in the way she had relayed information to me about the headscarf. I had become really frustrated with being told what to do without a clear explanation that would give way to understand anything about this religion that I was inheriting.

I have chosen to use the living room of the home in which I was born and raised as the space in which I capture the “conversation”. This has become a learning space for my mother and me. My mother had started asking questions about what I was doing, why I was doing what I was [that?] and what my project was about. The questions were simple, yet I felt quite uncomfortable answering them. It did not feel correct, to outwardly liberate myself from the things I had been taught by my mother, even though I was doing that right in front of her.

The aim of my images is to create a sense of tension and confrontation, either created by or related to the headscarf itself. The sense of restriction while nursing the obligation to hold on to what I’ve been taught. The push and pull of social and cultural pressures and expectations affects an emerging youth [more?] than I personally thought. It explains why I’ve been feeling like I’m in a constant emotional and mental tug of war with myself when I think of my religion and my identity.