“From a young age, I have been very passionate about gender and cultural identities. I remember always asking my parents about gender roles within the Pakistani community, as I never understood why they existed.
During my second and third year of university, I started researching social statistics in the UK compared to countries in the Middle East and they truly shocked me. I went on to create work that attempts to highlight this inequality. At the moment I am reading more into the Hijab and creating a project where females are removing it.
I owe a lot of where I am today to Dave Hazel [BA (Hons) Photography Course Leader] because there was never a time when he said no. He pushed me beyond my boundaries and supported me the whole way. If there was something that I needed for a shoot, he would make sure that I had it. 9am–9pm, he was there.
During my final term, I wanted to exhibit two series of work at our end of year degree show and he stayed with me in the workshop to make 11 frames. A lot of stress and tears later, I put my work up with pride.
I love it when the audience connect over my work. When I am exhibiting in galleries, I always witness people gathering around my pieces and discussing issues amongst themselves.
That’s when I feel most proud of myself: to know that my art is making a difference.”
You can read more about Kiran Tasneem here.