Hasan and Husain Essop make extraordinary images of the community in Cape Town where they grew up which reveal both their fascination with popular culture and their deep Islamic faith.
The Essops are twin brothers based in Cape Town who create staged photographs depicting aspects of local Muslim life. In the series Halaal Art they show the preparation and serving of a Halaal meal as a ritual process of purification and cleansing.
Each scene is performed for the camera and later digitally reconstructed. In Islam, depicting the figure is controversial or prohibited and the artists are careful about limiting figural representation to their own bodies, for which they alone assume responsibility. Their work refers to the potential contradictions between modernity and tradition, Islam and the West, and the space that young Muslim men occupy and negotiate in a secular environment.