Photography Needed for Documentary on Muslim America and Hip-Hop

Specific Pictures and its contributors are pleased to extend an invitation to submit photography for an anthology, the companion book to New Muslim Cool a feature length film about a young Puerto Rican-Muslim artist devoted to Islam and hip-hop, coming of age in a Post 911 America. New Muslim Cool, made in partnership with CPB and PBS, is to be released in 2009.

This anthology will examine the relationship between Muslims and American popular culture, with an emphasis on hip-hop and the identities of young Muslims in the US. It will be the first photographic anthology to document a counter culture movement created by Muslims of the hip-hop generation and shaped by faith, fashion, music and politics.

Photographs, essays, interviews, and poetry will tell the story of this racially and ethnically diverse subculture that’s influenced popular culture in America over the past three decades. In the spirit of Jamel Shabazz’s Back In the Days and Shoichi Aoki’s Fruits this anthology seeks to compile vibrant images depicting contemporary Muslim youth culture in America.

This book will profile the best of Muslim Street Fashion, an interesting blend of North American style and Muslim cultural symbolism. Images of Muslim youth in traditional Arab keffiyehs and Nike high-tops, Cazel glasses and chains with “Allah” pendants, Timberland stilettos and denim jilbabs, will be profiled.

In addition, there will be interviews and images of Islam-conscious hip-hop pioneers, today’s young Muslim producers and artists, DJ’s, B-boys and girls, graffiti artists, slam poets, fashionistas, stand-up comics and activists; all of whom lend their voices to the ongoing dialogue about Islam in America.

Submitting your work:

We invite you to submit 5 to 10 of your strongest photographic images representing contemporary US Muslim youth culture. Color and/or Black & White images are welcome. There are no boundaries with respect to photographic style or technique.

Along with your images, please send an artist’s statement (two paragraphs) and image descriptions, as well as a bio (two paragraphs). Please indicate if you have series within your submission.

CD Submissions: 
 Images should not exceed 5×7 inches @ 300 dpi.

Email Submissions: 
Send small .jpgs @ 72dpi
Email: NMCPhotography@

Please put “Photo Submission” in the subject field.

Kauthar Umar is a documentary film producer, photographer and magazine editor. She is a co-producer for New Muslim Cool, a feature length film for PBS and was a New Media Institute fellow for the National Black Programming Consortium in 2006.

Umar’s photography has been featured in Tokion, Current,, Volunteers for Prosperity and on the cover of the highly anticipated book, American Muslim Women by Dr. Jamillah Karim. She has exhibited in New York City at The Kitchen of Bengal and in The Latin Collectors Gallery RESSURECTIONS exhibit.

Umar has written for ESSENCE and YM and serves as a contributing editor for Germany’s Deutschland International and Islamic Horizons, where she also developed and edited the ground breaking 2005 issue, “Return To Roots”, about Islam in Black America. Umar is also an editor for the upcoming anthology CROSSING LIMITS: Poetry From American Muslims and American Jews.

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