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Creative Research Lab

SHIFT (MFA1) - March 2008

Sana Ali

Sana Ali

Sana Ali
     Somewhere in Between and
     See Nijabi Play (installation view), 2007
     Somewhere in Between (detail)

I strive to challenge conventional American thinking about Muslims. My goal is not to always offer solutions, but to enlighten pertinent issues through engaging my audience with my work. To accomplish this, I created the persona of Ninjabi, a Muslim-American character who is struggling with ideas of identity and belonging. Her character incorporates stereotypical images and assumptions of Muslims but also contradicts them. This persona is semi-autobiographical and draws from my own experiences of being a Muslim in America.

In Somewhere in Between, I took the persona of Ninjabi and filtered her through a comic book. In this story I chose to explore hijab, Muslim woman's head covering, which is perceived in American Culture as a symbol of "otherness" that often sets one apart from the rest of society. I look to investigate what it means to wear hijab and why Ninjabi wears it to counter assumptions that are made about women who choose to wear it.