Performative Documents – Hasan and Husain Essop

What interests me about the work of Essop is that they are able to reflect on very universal themes from a very personal framework. Their work came forth out of an internal personal struggle about making art and images and its effects. According to their mother ‘anything you draw that has life, you are going to have to give life to it’. Hasan and Husain have found their way in acknowledging their beliefs and traditions they are grounded in, without discarding their need to express themselves creatively. They put more life in themselves, showing their struggles, the beauties and contradictions of their faith and community they grow up in.

I am very impressed at how their work comes into being. They both think of a theme and image in their mind, share it and converse till they have found a common idea that they execute. Their images are very deliberate and well planned, but do have documentary value because they are such a strong representation of the lives of young muslims who grow up and are attracted to a secular, pop art world.

Vimeo. (2017). Figures & Fictions: Hasan and Husain Essop. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Mar. 2017].


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