A young artistic collective is rewriting the rulebook, challenging stereotypes while celebrating and nurturing genuine diversity – meet the Muslim Sisterhood.
Founded in 2017 by Zeinab Saleh, Lamisa Khan (both London based), and Sara Gulamali (who currently resides in Canada), Muslim Sisterhood began as a beautifully compiled photo series, capturing young Muslim women expressing themselves freely and authentically. Today, the collective has evolved to work within photography, fashion, film, publishing, and events, culminating in the launch of a zine last year.
“This was the first moment that our online community could come together and celebrate our work in real life,” they say. “It was so empowering to create a space that completely catered to our needs as Muslims. We had a mocktail bar and prayer space, and we commissioned Muslim florists, DJs, and panelists. Everything in our zine was produced, designed, and curated by a diverse and entirely Muslim female team.”
Rejecting the prejudice that western narratives can project onto Muslim women, they explain their motivation stems from “a realization that if you want to see certain things and ideas come to fruition in modern media, it’s best to do it yourself.” Merging activism with championing creative talent from marginalized communities, they describe curating a medium where “young women, people of color, and Black women can prioritize their experiences,” and ultimately take ownership of their lives. Shining a light on what it means to be young and Muslim today, the Sisterhood’s network continues to swell as their work gains momentum. “So many things have led organically into the other,” they say. “Every part of our journey has been a source of pride and joy. We can build ideas for the future as much as we like but as this year has shown, ultimately Allah is the best of planners.”
Originally published in the October 2020 issue of Vogue Arabia