Mahtab Hussain’s photographs explore the critical question of identity among young working-class British Asian men.
You Get Me? addresses the contested political terrain of race and representation, respect and cultural difference. The men portrayed in Hussain’s portraits identify as Muslim, and expressed that they felt culturally ridiculed by the constant flow of derogatory media representation of their lives. The 24 portraits in this exhibition, on view at Autograph ABP in London, examine how the weight of masculinity impacts the subject’s sense of self, as they navigate the complex identity formations historically placed upon them.
Hussain photographed the series over a nine-year period in Birmingham – where he grew up – stopping individuals in the street and starting conversations as he took their portrait. He later expanded the project to London and Nottingham. “Mahtab Hussain’s work is a timely investigation into the current politics around migration and identity,” says curator Mark Sealy. A photobook of You Get Me? is also published by MACK to coincide with the exhibition.
Mahtab Hussain: You Get Me?
5 May – 1 July 2017
London EC2A 3BA