Soft Boys : Kiara Mohamed, Fauziya Johnson

19 May 2021–29 Aug 2021


“When you’re so used to trauma, actively seeking joy - and basking in it - feels so foreign. But joy is the framework through which we can re-learn the world.” - Kiara Mohamed Kiara Mohamed’s work examines the ways we exist alongside one another and our environment, as well as what happens when we readdress our traumas through moments of radical joy. In his work, joy becomes a political act: a way of bringing meaning, beauty, and value to places that have been damaged by human or natural acts. Kiara’s films champion care and mindfulness and explore how art can allow for transformation, adaptation and healing. Soft Boys is a short film about queer and trans joy, specifically through and within the Somali culture and community. By re-engaging with Somalian traditional dances, cooking practices and garments, Kiara connects with his nomadic ancestors, and to a heritage from which he had always been made to feel excluded. In this solo exhibition, Kiara’s new work highlights how modern concepts of masculinity can be surprisingly conservative, even within the trans community. The experimental documentary questions what it means to be a man by focusing on emotion, empathy and joy. Soft Boys is curated in collaboration with Liverpool-based curator, cultural organiser and artist Fauziya Johnson. Discover more about the artwork, exhibition and the process of making it in a special podcast with Kiara and Fauziya. The discussion between artist and curator will be released in March 2021.

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