Project Title: Muslim Female Rappers
Supervisors: Dr Joanne Scott and Dr Leslie McMurtry
In contemporary media and culture, the representation of Muslim women is still narrow, stereotypical and one-dimensional. The aim of this thesis is to explore and investigate Muslim female identity and representation and its cultural and sociopolitical shift and development with the recent growth of Muslim female rappers. With the combination of theory and practice, the research employs rap, visual storytelling and performance as tools to explore, navigate, activate and articulate current findings whilst simultaneously exploring the areas of rise, resistance, identity and visibility – the four active words underpinning and sitting at the heart of the research. As a Muslim female rapper is conducting the research, the motivations lie in the hope of cultivating new perceptions in the understandings of identity and representation through the tools possessed and practiced. The research project is intersectional in nature and will therefore examine the themes of intersectionality, postcolonial theory, Islamic feminism and the conceptual and debated understanding of the awrah. Previous research has recognised the access that rap as an art form provides access to in relation to the cultivation of identity, whilst other research has identified the deep connection between the Islamic faith, hip hop and Muslim female expression. The research project has already identified gaps in research of marginalised groups such as Muslim women of colour from non-Asian backgrounds whose voices are yet to be heard in the discourse surrounding Muslim female identity and representation. With an intersectional lens of the multiplicity of heritage combined with creative practice, the research project sits at a new corridor into the understanding of Muslim female expression.
I’m a multi disciplinary artist across music and filmmaking and have been working as a performer and practioner in rap and poetry for that past decade. I’ve previously created four conceptual E.P’s, along with three music video films/visual E.P’s that were showcased in HOME cinema and multiple galleries across the UK. I’m currently working on my fifth and sixth e.p that will also have accompanying visual stories whilst also producing a YouTube musical comedy series titled “IF” where I play a range of unusual characters I’ve created that communicate through music in comedic scenarios.
Social Media : www.youtube.com/haleemahx