Wednesday, April 13, 2011

In Tandem : Hasan & Husain Essop

' "Halaal Art" was something that started during our trip to Cuba. It was about the way we were living, the challenges we faced as Muslims in a country that didn't have Islam. It started with finding meat, a lamb, and sacrificing it Halaal; making something that's impure, pure for your body to eat. We tried to explore that: what does that mean? We take where our food comes from so for granted. We went to the abattoir in Cape Town where we get our Halaal meat and we shot in a kind of alley, to show the abundance of nutrition here. It is horrific to some extent, but it is also a beautiful ritual if you understand it and you respect it and you respect the animal…These photographs are tricky because they take a lot of planning. At the scene we set up the tripod. I will test the light, see how the light is working. I will look at Husain and say, 'do you like this angle?' and he's like, 'maybe you shift it like this' and we have that discussion. This happens so quickly you know, because that's the beauty of the work, it has to happen quickly, the light changes all the time and you want to stay true to what you are photographing and then he will do a series of acts [which] I will photograph.'

Hasan and Husain Essop, interviewed by Tamar Garb, South Africa 2010

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