The Image Speaks for Itself

This piece (acrylic on cold press) is an assertion of intimacy between Queer and Trans People of Colour. The art piece specifically aims to embrace various South Asian identities (including Muslim identities), at the intersection of South Asian LGBTQ identities (recognising that people in South Asia/the diaspora also use other words to describe realities in collapsing/countering heteronormativity and celebrating Queerness).

This piece is also about collapsing false divides in South Asia and the South Asian diaspora furthered by the legacy of british colonialism (e.g. Muslim vs Hindu).  Despite systems of oppression set up to marginalise and/or erase people at various intersections of social locations (e.g. sexuality, sexual orientation, gender, class, caste, disAbility, religion, language, ethnicity, racialisation, geographical location), many continue to confront oppression by living their/our truths as a form of resistance. This painting celebrates this resistance.

  • farha najah is a second generation immigrant settler living in Tiohtia:ke (montreal), on occupied/unceded Kanien'kehá:ka (Mohawk) territory. Her family of origin migrated to this territory from pakistan and india (migrations are traced through: bihar, uttar pradesh, punjab, and sindh). She identifies as Queer and sees her many identities as simultaneously fixed and fluid, given systems of violence and oppression, but also as she experiences moments of inspiration and envisions liberation. Her art-activist practice is rooted in horizontal/non-hierarchical and empowerment-based learning approaches, intersectional feminist work (thanks to Black feminists), and intergenerational activism. She learns artistic tools of resistance and social justice movement building such as creativity, rule-breaking, and storytelling from fellow artists. Some of her most inspiring activist experiences have been connected to working collectively with Racialised Youth, Womxn of Colour, and Queer and Trans people of Colour artist-activists. farha committed to an art practice as part of a grounding process after having gone through challenging times in the context of social justice organising. The intention of her art practice is to engage with self and collective empowerment. Her intention is to be in solidarity with others facing systemic oppression, to carve out, create, contribute to, and reclaim spaces with intersectional feminist, anti-capitalist, decolonial, queer politics and imaginations using visual and written art. farha sees various forms of art as paramount to dismantling unjust systems, in embracing liberating moments, and in envisioning beautiful ways of being. As part of struggles against racism, colonialism, hetero-patriarchy, disableism, capitalism, as well as the violence inherent to police and borders, she is interested in focusing not only on what to fight against, but also to focus on what to fight for, as we seek caring, just, and loving moments, movements, spaces and relationships. More info: farha-najah.com

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