Zócalo AIR 2020 Semi-Finalist
Ahmed Tijay Mohammed (Tijay Mohammed) is a Bronx, New York based multidisciplinary artist from Kintampo, Ghana. In his multimedia site-specific installations and community workshops, Mohammed assembles day-to-day objects into symbolic engaging discoveries as group portraits. He uses his work to communicate the hopefulness in discarded remains of our lives (fabric scraps, Metrocards, jewelry, photographs stories, etc.) that are often overlooked, forgotten or no longer valuable to their possessors but for Mohammed, he recalls the history of their previous breaths, journey and proprietors.
Thematically, history plays an essential role in his process of repurposing found objects and the stories of the owners in addressing issues of migration, social and gender equality.
The Ghanaian Adinkra symbol “Sankofa”, meaning to "learn from the past for a prosperous future" inspires his process and experimentation. This symbol is oftentimes referenced in his projects like “Learning from the Past” and his “Celebration of Women is Endless” series, where Mohammed equated how women are treated verses how women should be treated and applauded.
Through projects such as this, he aims to feature the vital and significant role of women, especially the lives of immigrant women, whose daily labor and work, necessary to their families, livelihood and communities in both political and social context, often goes unnoticed.
"The goal for the impact I hope to have on the community is inspired by a quote from Nelson Mandela: “It is in your hands, to make a better world for all who live in it." -Tijay Mohammed