artqueerhabibi queer art
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January 18, 2022
Art
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Discover The Artist Representing Queerness In The Arab World

Artqueerhabibi is here to bring us queer representation in the Arab world. Because we need more and better representation. Because we deserve to see positive and empowering queer representations, now more than ever. A sneak peek at some fantastic art.

Artqueerhabibi’s pseudonym could not be more accurate. It tells you everything you need to know about their art. And maybe, we do not need to know anything more. But because we are, we admit it, some very curious cats, here is some information about this great artist.

The anonymous artist started painting at a young age, but it took some time and a friend’s encouragement before the art project ‘artqueerhabibi’ was born (Plastik Magazine, November 2019). And we are so grateful for this friend! Because artqueerhabibi’s project is fundamentally important, depicting the life and reality of queer people behind close doors.

There is little access to queer Arabic representation; or, when we do stumble across some, it is often either tragic stories or inaccurate, Western-induced representations. We do not hear queer and Arabic voices enough, and artqueerhabibi is changing that. Their drawings are far from traditional representation of queer people in the Arab world: they are empowering, candid, full of love and hope, depicting a hidden reality - but a reality still.

It might not seem much at first glance, but the images have the power to make queer Arabic people feel seen, valid and loved. A feeling that might often be crushed by coded traditions and religious beliefs that can make ‘queer people feel wrong and out of place’, as artqueerhabibi points out (Plastik Magazine, November 2019). But, as much as older generations can reject the idea of queer people living beside them, the LGBTQIA+ community is here. It exists. And it deserves to be represented.

So, we are thankful artqueerhabibi exists and continues drawing, in spite of the threat it can represent for them. Indeed, they have received hateful comments and inquisitions, and being exposed could have a very serious and negative impact on their life. But they have decided to keep going, because of all the love and positivity that came out of it. So, do not hesitate to show some love to this incredible artist!

As always, you can browse down below to discover their work and see what all of this is about. Enjoy!

PS: Also, keep an eye out, because a whole book on queer people in the Arab world might come out soon!

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