Friday, February 23, 2018

The scion of a Pakistani political dynasty comes out

By Saira Khan
Installation view of “The Third Muslim” at the SOMArts Cultural Center in San Francisco, which Mr. Bhutto helped organize. “Cloak,” above, is by Jamil Hellu. Credit Jason Henry for The New York Times
SAN FRANCISCO---The video, posted on the internet last summer, wasn’t supposed to be the coming-out story of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. It opens with the voice of a man wryly narrating a fictional encounter in which he is asked to leave an airplane for “speaking Arabian.” The words “Queer Muslim Proud” appear on the screen, followed by an introduction to the subject, in neon letters. Mr. Bhutto is a visual and performance artist who lives in San Francisco, and the video about him was created by filmmakers as part of “The Turmeric Project,” a series highlighting L.G.B.T.Q. South Asians living in America. Much of his work, including a recent show at the city’s SOMArts Cultural Center, explores the intersection of Islam, sexuality and masculinity. [More]
Saba Taj, O’Hara bint Fatima, velvet and curtain trimmings 2016
Jason Henry for The New York Times
Featuring 14 exhibiting artists ranging from Syrian to Somali to Pakistani heritage, The Third Muslim challenges gender-based oppression within Islam, as well as racism (specifically, colorism and anti-blackness) and Islamophobia within mainstream queer and trans* communities.