Photographer Sanaa Hamid is sparking conversation with her new series ‘Cultural Appropriation: A Conversation’, which explores the way people take items from other cultures and use them for their own purpose. Rather than taking sides on the question of whether this is acceptable or not, Hamid takes a neutral stance and presents the idea of cultural appropriation for discussion.
Hamid’s photography project is a long term exploration that focuses on culturally appropriated items such as bindis, keffiyehs, turbans and crosses. As the daughter of Pakistani immigrants living in the U.K., the 21 year old photographer is constantly aware of the culturally appropriated objects that surround us.
She told Daily News:
“Where to begin? Dreadlocks, traditional African prints, images of Hindu gods, Native American accessories, henna, Arabic scripture, tikka headpieces, the list is literally endless.”
Hamid photographs volunteers who offer their thoughts on what particular items mean to them. She offers opinions from those who have a spiritual, emotional or cultural connection to a particular cultural object, as well as those who wear these items as fashionable pieces.
For Hamid, the way people and clothing brands use culturally significant items as fashionable trends without understanding where these items come from seems wrong. By creating a photography project that focuses on this topic she seeks to create an ongoing discussion where a variety of perspectives, opinions and voices are heard.
If you’d like to be photographed to give your point of view, you can email Hamid at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What do you think about cultural items being appropriated? Leave a comment below!