Husna Swaleh Abubakar


I explore through literature, imagery and film to articulate the phenomenology of African and Swahili being. I visualize these concepts with a multi-disciplinary approach. I work to give a visual language for the Swahili people of the coast of East Africa. 
I allow myself to add to a collective struggle, to explore thought and feeling processes unique to Africans and the essence of our being and existence. Through my efforts, I ultimately wish to re-engage with not only Swahili people but also to the collective Black and indigenous experience so as to allow a reconnection and re-ignition of collective consciousness in times of emergence.


Atlas - An exploration of a new world through the lens of someone of Swahili descent. One grapples with homesickness, the loss of ritual and the very real visceral affects it has on ones being.


Black and white six page section of book with imagery and text

Atlas by Husna Swaleh Abubakar

Siri Ya Mila - A short film that explores matrifocal lineage, Swahili women joy, feminine ritual and commemoration of Swahili literature.


Screen shot of film from Siri Ya Mila of a woman holding a fan in front of a vibrant fabric.

Film still of a scene from Siri Ya Mila

Ndota Cha Ndani - Video installation using the architecture of a Swahili home to signify the psyche and metaphysical landscape of a Swahili woman 


Screenshot from Ndota Cha Ndani installation. Sillhouette of palm trees during sunset with faint imagery fading in the background

Still from second channel of Ndota Cha Ndani

Kanga Series - A tryptich of leso or kanga designed to be a commemoration to the African spirit. Exemplifying elegance, exuberance and a fight for liberation.


Blue and white imagery on fabric with images of women on it and words towards the bottom in Kiswahili

Kanga no. 3

NDANI - Autoethnographic research of the world of kungwi. Swahili wise women who teach the art of womanhood in Swahili society.


A zine with imagery and text. Images contained are Swahili paraphernelia and text is in Kiswahili

A page from Ndani


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