Exhibition / 26 Aug – 11 Sep 2021


Maryam Wahid

The women from the Pakistani diaspora who relocated to the UK were very often the hardworking wives, daughters, mothers and grandmothers of individuals who had migrated from cities, towns and small villages in Pakistan. These individuals came to the UK to work in key industrial sectors and set up businesses that contributed towards the healthy economy of their new-found nation. Pakistani women provided a crucial envelopment of familiarity and comfort that gave their husbands, fathers, children and grandchildren a sense of their place of origin – making it a home away from home.

Wearing her mother’s clothes from 40 years ago, Maryam Wahid’s self-portraits seek to recognise the existence and achievements of such Pakistani women and their role as the backbone of a community that transformed inner-city Britain. The family album is at the centre of Maryam’s personal work. She uses photographs from it to deconstruct her own British and Pakistani heritage.

Today, British Pakistani women continue to revolutionise gender roles for other women through the determination, emotional support and encouragement of their female peer network.

About Artist

Portrait of Maryam Wahid

Maryam Wahid

Maryam Wahid (b. 1995) is an award-winning freelance artist whose work explores her identity as a British Pakistani Muslim woman. She expresses the origins of the Pakistani community in her hometown Birmingham (UK) by examining her deeply rooted family history; and the mass integration of migrants within the United Kingdom. Her academic background in Art, Photography and Religious Studies alongside her fascination in cultural cognition and religious ideologies have progressively influenced her work. Her work explores the female identity, the history of the South Asian community in Britain and the notion of home and belonging. She has been commissioned to create photographs for The Guardian, The Financial Times, Manchester Metropolitan University and The People’s Picture, among others.