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By Mahtab Hussain
Photographed over a nine-year period, You Get Me? by British artist Mahtab Hussain is a book centred on the experiences of young working-class South Asian Muslim men in contemporary Britain. Largely a book of portraits, it also documents the local environments of these men, picking up on manifest signs of multi-cultural identity.
The photographs in You Get Me? are interspersed with evocative extracts from Hussain’s numerous conversations with Muslim men, principally in London, Nottingham and Birmingham. Bringing issues of identity, masculinity, displacement and belonging to the fore, the book addresses concrete experiences of these men against a backdrop of derogatory media representations. Confronting the politics surrounding immigration and identity in Britain, Hussain at once celebrates the implicit agency of his photographic subjects, while recognising their struggle to determine a sense of self.
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