[F]emininity has long been a restrictive concept: determining who is allowed to be feminine based on sex seems Victorian in our age, instead it should be defined by something more personal. Reclaiming the Female Gaze, finding identity in creative expression, there is a movement of redefining what both femininity and masculinity mean. In the next four weeks HUNGER will meet four women who are working to rework our conceptions, zines exploring an alternate femininity.
Having met Jameela Elfaki back in July, with issue #2 hot off the press we decided it was time for a catch up. Editor and founder of AZEEMA, Jameela’s work is renowned for exploring the diversity of beauty and femininity: the focus of her zine is to confront the lack of representation in the fashion industry and provides stunning alternatives. As she explained, the aim was to create something “inclusive of Women of Colour and knowledgeable of Islamic faith, African and Arab culture”. The next issue will undeniably be as empowering, innovative and, ultimately, needed as the first: with it featuring a powerful image of a cool model driving in her burka, the debut issue is groundbreaking in its uniqueness, and exemplifies the resistance yet to come. Issue #2 is out today so what better time to catch up with Jameela Elfaki and hear all about what’s in store.
What inspired you to launch AZEEMA earlier this year?
To summarise, it was the lack of representation of women from MENA and Women of Colour in publications and the Media. I don’t think there are many outlets that have understanding of these different cultures! I think it was pure frustration.