Hijabs & Hoodies is a multi-disciplinary project, a portrait initiative, that questions the dress code for America and the intersection between anti-blackness and Islamophobia. With this series we dissect the intersectionality between race and religion in America and the association of hate crimes between both Black and Muslim communities, specifically Muslim women and Black men. The project includes an exhibition and open studio process. The exhibition includes a photo series of portraits and a video installation. Currently our set of images include old and new portraits from participants in Hartford, CT and Washington DC. Additionally, Hijabs & Hoodies is designed as a open studio where we invite self identifying Muslim women and Black men from the host communities to have their portraits taken in a hijab and hoodie respectively.
We believe neither wearing a hoodie nor a hijab is a reason for murder, and standing up to racial hatred means opposing all forms of violence. The Hijabs and Hoodies portrait series is a small step to acknowledging the rise of violence against African-, Arab-, and Muslim Americans and also recognizing the shared experiences of resistance between these communities. Muslim and Black bodies are on the frontlines of increased violence in the form of racial profiling, surveillance, police brutality, rape, murder, hate crimes, and other deplorable acts. Racial profiling and state sanctioned violence against Black and Brown bodies have always existed in America, but recently these brutalities have been made even more visible through widely shared digital recordings and a political climate that has normalized the actions and behaviors of White Supremacy. The Hijabs & Hoodies portrait series is rooted in love and solidarity as well as an attempt to subvert and reclaim the very gaze that have made these garments and ultimately these communities “threatening.”
Tracy is currently the artist-in-residence at Studio Revolt, a collaborative transnational media lab known for compelling works on many of the social issues that I am addressing in my own work. You can take a look at some of their more famous works with 1700% Project and My Asian Americana.