“Anak Mami” is an exploration of my cultural identity, looking at my Malaysian background and how it relates to my Malay, Indian and Pakistani bloodline. The word Mamak is a term referring to the Indian Muslims who migrated from mostly South India to Malaysia, the first port of entry being Penang mostly around the twelfth to eighteenth century, they settled down in different businesses but mainly in the food industry. Indian Muslims played a fundamental role in Malaysia from global trade, introducing Islam and building mosques. The garments incorporated in this work are pieces borrowed from my mother and father, with Indian and Malay jewelry borrowed from my mother. These mixing of patterns bring light to my relationship with the cultures I grew up with. Malaysia is a diverse community of Malays, Indians and Chinese, the intersectionality of these races is what makes up the community but coming from a mixed background you are often categorized as one or the other. Anak Mami is a project that brings light to my mixed background, the pivotal influences of Mamaks in Malaysian society and is a platform to represent women who share the same skin tone and features as mine.

Photographed by: Elias Rischmawi