American Muslim youth in Michigan are encouraged to submit a mason jar filled with symbolic items representing their identity for a collaborative interactive art gallery at the Hamtramck art hub Public Pool, called “Preserving Identity: A Muslim American Youth Experience” by May 8. The gallery hopes to showcase 50-100 jars. The artwork will be displayed on Saturdays between May 13- June 24.
The project began as an idea by Wayne State University student and Hamtramck resident Nushrat Rahman who sought more American Muslim representation in art. With an increase of anti-Muslim rhetoric and bullying in the public sphere, the project puts a positive spin on sharing and celebrating American Muslim identity in the U.S.
“I wanted to take the mic back,” Rahman said. She teamed up with artist Sarah Rose Sharp, Muslim American Society (MAS) Youth Detroit, and Public Pool to make that happen.
The interactive gallery aims to encourage Muslim youth, up to 26-years-old, to explore what it means to be American Muslim by filling a transparent jar with objects that represent them, beginning with the participant reflecting on their unique identities and experiences and ending with sharing their personal story.
Rahman said, “Our identities as Muslim Americans comes in various shades and hues, that intersects in many ways. This project is an exercise in reflection on what makes us–uniquely us–as Muslim American youth.”