Segments in this Video

Islam as the Enemy (02:24)


Australian Muslim artists discuss how public perception shifted against them after 9/11. Sydney radio host Abdul Abdullah discusses how the War on Terror impacted his transition to adulthood.

Expressive Art (03:38)

Abdullah's "Siege" series explores the stress and trauma experienced by young Muslims in Australia. "You See Monsters" challenges the audience to take responsibility for their fears. "Looking at Me Through You" examines biased perception.

Reclaiming the Veil (03:07)

Cigdem Aydemir's performance works "Extremist Activity" and "Hair Veil" question the burka as a symbol of female oppression. "Extremist Activity" is a reaction to an anti-Muslim mural.

Images of Muslim Women (03:02)

Aydemir recalls her decision to wear the veil at the age of nine and learning to work with fabric. Her work "Bombshell" parodies Marilyn Monroe's subway grate image.

Muslim Zombie Series (04:29)

Safdar Ahmed's images respond to Australian fears of a Muslim takeover. He believes creative people should be honest about their lives. He discusses how art helped him overcome depression and anxiety from childhood trauma.

Australian Muslim Identity (03:39)

Abdul-Rahman Abdullah grew up in Western Australia prior to 9/11 and is not defined by his faith. He has Malay and European heritage. His works reflect his childhood family experiences.

"Them and Us" (01:40)

Abdul-Rahman's work explores 20th century Muslim identity; his younger brother Abdul-Hamid's work is more politicized. Their photographic collaboration comments on the difference and on jihad's true meaning, inviting a conversation on Australian identity.

Challenging the Ozzie Identity (04:37)

The Abdullah brothers visit their father, who converted to Islam as a student in Malaysia. Abdul-Hamid appears with his father in a baptismal work illustrating the religious change in their family line.

"My Mother is Not Oppressed" (04:16)

Sara Mansour grew up in the multi-ethnic Sydney neighborhood Punchbowl. She discusses using spoken word to challenge stereotypes of Muslim women; the Quran features elements of poetry and storytelling.

Identity Shaped by Racism (04:21)

Aamer Rahman uses comedy to address xenophobia and negative stereotypes. He discusses the perception of multiculturalism in Australia; power imbalances are at the root of racism.

Growing Anti-Muslim Sentiment (05:02)

In Bendigo, right-wing groups protest a planned mosque. Abdullah photographs black balloons used to intimidate city council members. He speaks at the Bendigo Art Gallery about his work "Self Portrait of an Ultra Nationalist."

Bankstown Poetry Slam (04:02)

The Cronulla riots spark an identity struggle for Mansour, a Lebanese Muslim Australian. She organizes a monthly multicultural gathering for young people to express their experiences through poetry and storytelling.

Representing the Muslim Community (02:09)

Mansour is conscious of how she communicates with non-Muslims. Aydemir's performance piece "Smile" reacts to the constant pressure to convince people she is peaceful and good. Ahmed discusses using art to subvert negative stereotypes.

Muslim Death Metal (02:37)

Ahmed has an anti-racist band to exploit fear and paranoia. They perform in zombie makeup and consume the "brains" of a zombie cake modeled after one of his illustrations.

"Mutual Assurances" (04:18)

Abdullah visits Seremban to produce a new series about Malaysian weddings. It originates from reading an article justifying a drone strike that killed Pakistani children. He reflects on feeling more Australian in Malaysia.

Hope for Changing Attitudes toward Muslims (01:52)

Abdullah's work is on exhibit at Campbelltown Art Center. Australian Muslim artists are trying to broaden the Australian identity; hear a work by poetry slam champion Zohab Zee Khan.

Credits: You See Monsters (00:43)

Credits: You See Monsters

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You See Monsters

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Across the world, the demonization of Muslims has taken on monstrous proportions, and Islam is represented as a threat to the Western way of life. But in the bottom right-hand corner of the world, in a country better known for its bikinis than its burqas, a new generation of Australian Muslims are asserting their own agency in the face of anti-Islamic bigotry – not with defensive or apologetic arguments, but on the front foot using the power of their imaginations to create works of art that are fighting racism with imagination and irreverence.

Length: 59 minutes

Item#: EDP190456

Copyright date: ©2017

Closed Captioned

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