Creator and Producer: Reyhab Mohmed Patel
Photographer: Hamzah Amin; Makeup Artists: Desiree Grant, Minhas, SuKha; Production Assistant: Urooj Khan, Yusuf Siddiquee;
Participants: Minhas, Aalya, Urooj Khan, Reyhab Mohmed Patel, SuKha
Soundtrack Producer: xxxx
Khawab is a storytelling project that focuses on transforming Muslim women into their fictional alter-egos.
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we all dream a little..
What is Khawab?
Khawab (kha-wa-b) or “to dream '' in Urdu, is a multi-faceted storytelling portrait series that fictionalizes the alter-egos of Muslim women in Toronto.
Khawab is a stepping stone for artistic creation that reimagines alternative futures as speculative, yet perpetual. It aims to answer the question of what informs our imagination of a Utopia and what it means to have freedom of expression.
Khawab is informed by the nexus of fashion, art, and culture, and how these aspects allow us to create authentic versions of ourselves in hopes of living free. This project transforms participants’ experiences into fictional alter-egos, presenting Muslim women in a space of creative liberation and inclusivity, breaking free from restrictions and embracing a space of boundless imagination.
In a two phase approach, we first photographed Muslim women dressed as their alter-egos. Each portrait was then enhanced using artificial intelligence (DALL·E, from OpenAI) to create a digital world backdrop from key elements and textual descriptions of the alter-ego—including interpretations of cultural identity, occupation, familial ties, as well as responses to Islamophobia, racism and trauma.
At its core, Khawab works to heal and reclaim personhood through storytelling. Khawab opens a gateway in exploring freedom, joy and happiness that is not within enclosures of oppressive realities that are often informed by our own lived experiences.
Meet the Alter Egos
Khawab is a MIPSTERZ project that centers Muslim women at the forefront of creative identity expression by connecting with participants through their real-life experiences.
Noor - Tolkien Elf
“The want to dress up as an elf started with my love for Lord of Rings so I could just be in that world - until this year there wasn’t space for brown and radicalized people to be a part of it.
Polly, Time travelling PI
“I have always been observant - in a perfect world where a woman does not have to worry about safety or security or anything like that I would have been a detective or PI
Jalpari, Desi Mermaid
“I make a conscious effort to carry my magic with me everywhere I go, the same way Mermaids do.
Cecila - Underwater Warrior, SuKha
“ I think Muslim women are often minimized by what you wear - the assumption that veil comes with a set of rules - I know a lot of women who wear it for the sake of wearing it without a sense of spirituality.
Sonyc Rey - Anti-hero, Rey
"If a Muslim woman who wears the hijab were a superhero, I’d most likely be labelled negatively … so why not claim that identity as an anti-hero”