Buzzing & Murmuring (2009)

Referencing Edward Said’s Orientalism, and Homi Bhabha’s notion of the stereotype as mimicry (camouflage), Buzzing and Murmuring identify the Post 9-11 myths and stereotypes surrounding the Muslim cultural and religious practices relating to the traditional appearance of a Muslim male, specifically the beard, along with associated imagery derived from the prayer rug, Muslim worship, Salat, and the mosque. Beehive metaphors in W are also explored. The dualistic concepts surrounding the stereotypes and personifications that result in ‘otherness’ are the key aspects of this research project where as the binary nature of beehive metaphors (both in Western and Muslim art, history, literature and media) provides the conceptual and visual anchor. The Lambda prints express layers of interpretation of the clash of international political entities alongside the cultural contestations and religious belief systems within the Muslim culture, and reflections upon Syed's own identity as a Muslim man divided between the East and the West. Due to its conceptual yet allegorical content, this research is descriptive, and is intended to lay the ground for future research aimed at examining the compounded variables of potential cultural clashes, religious conflicts, and political action.