Five (and a bit) Questions with…Sanaa Hamid
I see my role as almost a bit of a bridge, to encourage others to embrace their multiple identities.
1. Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Sanaa Hamid – a visual-artist and now small business owner and jewellery-maker with my sister at Ronak & Bahaar.
2. Do you think an artist has a particular role or responsibility in the world?
Absolutely. But it can be a lot of pressure, so it needs to be a self-defined role or responsibility so as not to be counterproductive to creativity. Personally, I’m not interested in art that is not political, because work that is political requires a courage and commitment that gives it the power to make a change. I guess it ultimately depends on your intention as an artist.
3. How do you see your role?
In terms of my own work, I feel a responsibility to represent my Pakistani-British identity and experiences, but have also struggled with having to speak on behalf of my culture as a given. My photography background marked the exploration and embrace of my heritage, but only now through Ronak & Bahaar does it all seem to fall into place. I see my role as almost a bit of a bridge, to encourage others to embrace their multiple identities.
4. Does identity play a role in your creative craft, and if so how?
Yes! So the idea of Ronak & Bahaar was to create jewellery that was not only contemporary and cool, but also referred back to Pakistani prints, fabrics and styles. We started making ourselves some chokers for a wedding, and being able to create something so current as well as linked to our identities was a massive light bulb moment.
5. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given over the course of your career?
“It isn’t your responsibility to educate all the time” – this advice has been invaluable to me, because trying to educate and spending so much time in intense debate and the following stress, anxiety and heartbreak is not healthy. I’ve learned to let my work speak for itself.
A bit more…
Where’s your favourite place to see art?
Markets in Pakistan, with men crouched over a piece of fabric delicately embroidering for hours. That kind of art. Or Instagram!
Sanaa 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