You look like a … Matthew, 2016 by Cherine Fahd

image of You look like a … Matthew 2016 by Cherine Fahd

Artist's statement

These portraits were motivated by a challenging comment – ‘shave your beard off, you look like a terrorist’ – my parents (who are Lebanese Australians) directed at my brothers, hoping to
persuade them to shave. The portraits are of young men who wear beards not as a religious requirement or symbol of political allegiance, but rather as a ‘hipster’ style choice. Problematically, their appearance and ethnicity superficially recall images of ‘jihadis’ represented in the western media. The portraits also recall clinical passport images; however, the subjects challenge the authority of institutional requirements: they subvert the camera’s gaze by looking to the side.