Five (and a bit) Questions with… Salahuddin Mazhary
Art surrounds us all, but very often we choose to close our eyes to the beauty that can be found in our everyday surroundings.
1. Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Salahuddin Mazhary. I am a young British Muslim with dual heritage from the Indian Subcontinent and Syria [and mixes of Iranian, Iraqi, Turkish and Afghan blood]. Thanks to my multiple identities and travels to over 50 countries and counting, I am an avid traveller that delights in discovering and learning about different countries and cultures. I convey my discoveries through the lens of cultural fashion on my page ‘Adventures in Fashionistan’. I love nothing more than mixing and matching clothes and aesthetics from various countries around the world. I want my outfits to be an interactive map of the world, of the many identities I possess and learn about along the way. My key inspiration in this regard is a verse from the Qur’an that tells humanity that God created man into ″different nations and tribes, so that we may know one another’’. This blog is not only about the quest to learn about other cultures, but simultaneously a quest to discover myself too.
2. Do you think an artist has a particular role or responsibility in the world?
Of course. Because of the nature of my project, I have a responsibility to connect people of different cultures, races, beliefs, nationalities and walks of life and remind them of their common humanity. I have a responsibility to build bridges between people and tear down walls of hate, ignorance and fear of the ‘other’. As a creative, I want to develop content that inspires young people around the world with an insatiable curiosity to learn about and connect with their counterparts across the cultural spectrum.
3. How do you see your role?
I see myself as a cultural ambassador. I want to be an ambassador for many of the world’s cultures and identities that are often ignored or misrepresented by mainstream media and popular opinion.
4. Does identity play a role in your creative craft, and if so how?
Yes, very much so. The many cultures that I am continually exposed to are a crucial part of my creative canvas. My greatest joy is styling outfits that bring different cultures and communities together. The more I travel and the more cultures I encounter, the more my imagination grows.
5. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given over the course of your career?
I’m humbled to be surrounded by people that offer me an abundance of advice, so it’s really hard to choose any one piece of advice. However, my father always told me to enjoy the journey of life as well as the destination. Life is a great journey where one learns many things about others and most importantly about themselves.
A bit more…
Where’s your favourite place to see art?
Art surrounds us all, but very often we choose to close our eyes to the beauty that can be found in our everyday surroundings. To notice it and continually nurture your ability to find it is a conscious choice. I have made the choice and am recording my journey along the way and I’d like to take as many people along with me as possible.
Salahuddin was part of our Amal teaser video along with several other artists. You can find out more about them here:
Alia Al Zougbi – www.aliaalzougbi.com
George Butler – www.georgebutler.org
Batool Abbas – www.cargocollective.com/batoolabbas
Sanaa Hamid – www.ronakbahaar.com
Nasreen Raja – www.instagram.com/nasreenraja
Ruh Al Alam – www.ruhalalam.com
Mohammed Yahya – www.facebook.com/MohammedYahya
May Robertson – www.mayrobertson.co.uk
Salahuddin Mazhary – www.instagram.com/adventuresinfashionistan
Alton Letto – www.twitter.com/altonletto
Thahmina Haseen – www.goldentiffin.co
Maab Adams – www.youtube.com/watch?v=zK_G-h1uep8