Gouled Ahmed Captures Life Behind The Veil Of Cultural Identities
Art2 Minutes Read

Gouled Ahmed Captures Life Behind The Veil Of Cultural Identities

July 23, 2022 Share

Artist and lover of style, Gouled Ahmed aims to open the eyes of millions. The self-portraits turned self-fashioning is currently on display at the world’s leading museum of modern art, which tells an empowering story of why your identity matters. 

Gouled Ahmed is shaping Africa on today’s generational terms. The King of self-portraiture and a multidisciplinary artist who touches on mediums of film, photography, costume design, and writing is a royal gem that everyone should know about. 

Even though the empowering self-portraits of the non-binary visual artist, currently on display at the V&A in London, have been placed in the exhibition entitled Africa Fashion, it’s still luring a multitude of identities to gaze upon the most mesmerising eyes yet.

Gouled Ahmed, Self-portrait, Addis Foam, Ethiopia, Courtesy Gouled Ahmed at V&A.

Draped in long flowing fabrics and smeared in face paint, Ahmed makes bringing back the power of avant-garde look easy. With a touch of jewels on the neck, face and body – signed with Henna and left to rest with a textured backdrop, you would think the picture is complete. 

But the message behind the art is far more profound than the camera portrays. Here the idea is to bring back the power of a once forgotten Somali & Ethiopian Culture. Fashioning everything about it to the forefront of societies ‘gaze’. 

Through the eyes of today’s generation, Ahmed seeks to pay tribute to the Somali & Ethiopian culture that runs through the veins of Djibouti -born visionary.

Gouled Ahmed
Golden Illusions. Courtesy Gouled Ahmed at V&A.

“Through fashioning their own body, they explore what it is like to express oneself outside the control of hegemonic power structures, presenting one’s more authentic self without either shame or fear”

– ArtFund

Ahmed may be a golden illusion to some, but today, the creative is spearheading the way forward to enable people to feel seen, heard and celebrated for who they are. Our society needs to stop resisting what the world looks like, from cultural practices to inspiriting heritage, self-representation and personal identification. 

Gouled Ahmed
Saltwater bodies by Gouled Ahmed.

Gouled Ahmed inspires the viewer to gaze into his soul, step back and witness the power your identity has if you just let your actual inner universe out. 

The exhibition entitled Africa Fashion at the V&A will run until April 16, 2023

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Author: Michelle Laver
Golden Illusions
Gouled Ahmed