Amamah Mirza reminds us through metaphors
We have been pointing it out forever, and it seems that we will continue to do so till society stops forgetting and start rectifying it; it is male-oriented. Every day is another entry in the trauma journal of women and people from marginalized communities.
Amamah Mirza shares her experience as an object that is constantly being subjected to all forms of unnecessary violence, criticism, abandonment and harassment, which, indirectly, are the experiences of a large population of women from all societies. The compositions and colour palettes of her prints reflect upon the limited options she (or any member of the marginalized community) has in choosing a career, making decisions for a better life or having any say in the concept of choosing a partner. This metaphor of women as objects is nothing new but it is also not getting old. For every story, account and article about women artists or creatives from marginalized communities, you will come across, you will read how the continuously narrowing perspectives have further tilted the society in one direction, far from achieving any sort of balance. It is the collective failure that has helped sustain the word ‘marginalized’.
It starts with the trivial; “Systems have normalized the many methods in which society trains young women, what you need or don’t need, what you want or don’t want”, Amamah says. This technique can be found in any book on the basics of gas lighting.
Amamah Mirza’s work is yet another reminder that glamorizing struggles and hardships have never helped women or any member of marginalized community in breaking barriers; this practice persists in even the most educated circles, and it has reinforced the necessity of rules and divides, tones and words that are no longer relevant.
Written by Dinarya Khalid
Image: Emancipation (III), Amamah Mirza, all copyrights retained by the artist 2022.