Shaista is a photographer & visual artist interested in identity, representation and the construction of the Other. Shaista’s work often centres her own experiences as a British Muslim woman of Pakistani origin and uses news, popular culture and archival material to explore mainstream narratives.
Shaista is making new work that questions the narrative and visual culture of Covid-19. She recognises that mainstream media have moved on from a ‘whitewashing’ of the NHS to the promotion of the diverse NHS. However, she draws comparisons between the way that BAME key workers are celebrated in the media and promotional material today with the propaganda deployed by Britain during WW2 aiming to portray a ‘united Britain’. During the war years the Ministry of Information created posters aiming to unite the Empire and reassure the British public they were not alone in the fight for good. Posters presented a more ‘intimate face of the colonial subject’ ready to step up and help. This imagery was born out of political necessity and in making comparisons to images during Covid Shaista explores the parallels of representation in posters, newspapers and NHS material.
Shaista began her career working as a photojournalist working with organisations including UN Women, CARE International and Islamic Relief. Shaista has been developing a research driven conceptual practice since completing an MA in Documentary Photography at University of the Arts- London.
Image Credit: Its No Life for a Woman. Shaista Chishty