You Get Me? Mahtab Hussain explores the identity of working class British Asian men

in Inspiration / Photography

In his timely series, You Get Me?, photographer Mahtab Hussain addresses the "contested political terrain of race and representation, respect and cultural difference" in the UK. His images ultimately explore the critical question of identity among young, working class British Asian men.

Shown in an upcoming exhibition at London's Autograph ABP gallery, the men portrayed in Hussain’s portraits identify as Muslim, and expressed that they felt culturally ridiculed by the constant flow of derogatory media representation of their lives.

The 24 portraits in the exhibition examine how the weight of masculinity impacts the subject’s sense of self, as they navigate the complex identity formations historically placed upon them.

Hussain photographed the series over a nine-year period in Birmingham – where he grew up – stopping individuals in the street and starting conversations as he took their portrait. He later expanded the project to London and Nottingham.

A photobook of You Get Me? will be published by MACK in June to coincide with the exhibition at Autograph ABP, which will run from 5 May until 1 July 2017. To find out more, visit autograph-abp.co.uk.

A PhD candidate from Nottingham Trent University and a graduate from Goldsmith College, Hussain received his MA in Photography in 2013. Born in Scotland in 1981, Hussain has been a recipient of numerous awards and commissions including Arts Council England, Multistory, and New Art Exchange. His work has been exhibited internationally in solo and group exhibitions, and reviewed in publications such as The Guardian, The Telegraph, and The Huffington Post. Discover more at www.mahtabhussain.com.

Main image: Mahtab Hussain, Red t-shirt, baseball jacket, car from the series You Get Me? 2012. Courtesy of the artist

Mahtab Hussain Boy with BMW toy car  from the series You Get Me? 2009 Courtesy the artist

Mahtab Hussain Boy with BMW toy car from the series You Get Me? 2009 Courtesy the artist

Mahtab Hussain Eyebrow tracks, white vest and baseball cap from the series You Get Me? 2012 Courtesy the artist

Mahtab Hussain Eyebrow tracks, white vest and baseball cap from the series You Get Me? 2012 Courtesy the artist

Mahtab Hussain Green chalk strip suit  from the series You Get Me? 2017 Courtesy of the artist

Mahtab Hussain Green chalk strip suit from the series You Get Me? 2017 Courtesy of the artist

Mahtab Hussain Shemagh, beard and bling from the series You Get Me? 2010 Courtesy of the artist

Mahtab Hussain Shemagh, beard and bling from the series You Get Me? 2010 Courtesy of the artist

Mahtab Hussain Teenager, swing and last day at school from the series You Get Me? 2010 Courtesy of the artist

Mahtab Hussain Teenager, swing and last day at school from the series You Get Me? 2010 Courtesy of the artist

Mahtab Hussain Young boy in pink and grey beanie  from the series You Get Me? 2014 Courtesy of the artist

Mahtab Hussain Young boy in pink and grey beanie from the series You Get Me? 2014 Courtesy of the artist

Mahtab Hussain Young boy with Bart Simpson from the series You Get Me? 2012 Courtesy of the artist

Mahtab Hussain Young boy with Bart Simpson from the series You Get Me? 2012 Courtesy of the artist

Mahtab Hussain Young boy, white boxing gloves from the series You Get Me? 2010 Courtesy of the artist

Mahtab Hussain Young boy, white boxing gloves from the series You Get Me? 2010 Courtesy of the artist

Mahtab Hussain Young man asleep from the series You Get Me? 2010 Courtesy of the artist

Mahtab Hussain Young man asleep from the series You Get Me? 2010 Courtesy of the artist

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