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Hushidar Mortezaie’s work

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Alex Shams: What does an American flag mean to an Iraqi-American woman who was forced to flee her homeland because of it, or a Yemeni woman whose homeland is daily bombed by US weapons? Indeed, claims that Muslims are “part of America” too often fall into the trap of reifying American exceptionalism, muffling (very much needed) critique of US policies both at home and abroad and instead trying to fit into a “model minority” slot.

Enter Hushidar Mortezaie, an Iranian-American fashion designer and visual artist whose work offers a stunning counter-image to Muslim-Americans dressed up in nationalism.

His poster “We Are One” depicts an Afghan woman surrounded by flowers, bomber planes, Persianate architectural embellishment, and the word “Peace” in various languages.

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