A big reason why I haven’t ever learnt much about my Moroccan heritage, after the fear of discovering a new side of myself related to a family I don’t know and a culture that can be seen to have negative connotations to it, is that I have personally found that I have found it very hard to find or see a positive representation of my Arabic culture in the mainstream media.
What I mean by this, is that I didn’t know any good Arabic role models, in the music or fashion industry for example, in mainstream media. And it is only in the last couple of months, that I have started to discover new artists, and creatives especially, that are Arabic and/or Moroccan.
Today, I found a singer called Abir, who is Moroccan-born and New York-based. I went through her music videos, and the two videos and teaser she has released in the last year, are centred around being an Arab woman and fighting the stereotypes that Arab-American women are held to, unlike Arab-American men.
Within her videos, I can see influences coming from her Moroccan heritage, mixed with her Western/American side. This really inspired me and motivated me. As, thinking about it now, I have never really seen creative content like this that I feel I can resonate with and feel partly represented by.
I feel as though now that I have identified the impact that the lack of positive representation of Arab people/women has had on me, I really want to use this to drive my project forward and be something that motivates me further in my project.