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Shy contacted the Angling Trust after securing the funding to discuss potential participants, and we introduced Aisha, who has been a huge beacon for women in fishing. Not only did Aisha help us get fishing involved in Sport England’s ‘This Girl Can’ and ‘We Are Undefeatable‘ campaigns, she also helped raise awareness of fishing among women during the pandemic. She is also a campaign champion for our We Fish As One campaign, a long-term community inclusion campaign that aims to harness the power of fishing as a community building activity, so that people from all backgrounds can experience the life-changing benefits of the sport of angling.
The results of the photo shoot are brilliant, vivid and powerful, and Aisha even signed-up her wonderful mum, Suriya, to take part, who is a frontline worker planning activities for dementia patients. Aisha even has a custom ‘We Fish As One’ catch of the day!
Aisha Mohamed-Goodlett ‘Women in Uniform’ portrait. Credit: Shy Burhan
Aisha told Shy that she was ‘hooked by angling after tagging along with her dad to various fishing spots. What started out as a friendly competition with her dad to see who could catch the most fish, turned into a much needed respite and sought-after headspace, especially during the pandemic.’
Aisha continued: “Fishing to me is like flight to a bird, it gives me freedom to be me and think soulfully… it is a feeling of ‘camaraderie’. Fishing isn’t just about catching fish; fishing is an opportunity to take time out from the world of uncertainty, to feel the wind on your face, to listen to the birds sing, to observe the wildlife or even listen to the water flowing like a fountain. Going fishing is also a chance to unwind from the stresses of life, take quality time out to focus on oneself also, to recondition our mental health.”
Before setting up the shoot, Shy conducted a Zoom call with Aisha to get the full picture of what’s behind her love of fishing, and has had the same process with every woman who has taken part.
On devising the exhibition’s idea, Shy says: “As a female photographer of South Asian heritage, I’m somewhat of a rarity in my field I’ve found. Moreover women of colour, (Black, Asian, Hispanic, Arab – BAHA and trans women of colour) who occupy senior roles in their respective industries are still lower in number than their white, male counterparts. And yet I know we exist because I exist.”
“To celebrate these hidden figures, I’ve invited some of these amazing women to have their portraits shot for a mammoth project – ‘Women in Uniform’ – in a conceptual way that shares their individual truths, centring around what their ‘uniform’ means to them. Launching on International Women’s Day, this national exhibition will l run until the 14th May 2023.”
“As a huge supporter of ‘Black Lives Matter’ and also marginalised and minority communities in general, ‘Women in Uniform’ is an organic progression in my own artistic evolution. In an effort to dismantle preconceived stereotypes and systemic, institutionalised racism and misogyny, I want to build a strong subject dialogue and discuss the complex interplay between women of colour and cultural sensitivities by inviting them to discuss the sub-text and role of their uniform and what/how it represents them individually.”
Shy adds: “I’m proud to feature Aisha and Suriya in the exhibition. They are a dynamic duo!”
Aisha Mohamed-Goodlett with her mum Suriya for ‘Women in Uniform’ portrait. Credit: Shy Burhan
The series features women in their uniforms, or civilian clothes and ranges from artists and authors to a planetary scientist, prison workers and actresses.
About International Women’s Day 2023 and the campaign theme: #EmbraceEquity
Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women’s equality. Collectively we can all #EmbraceEquity. The aim of the International Women’s Day 2023 (IWD 2023) #EmbraceEquity campaign theme is to get the world talking about Why equal opportunities aren’t enough. People start from different places, so true inclusion and belonging require equitable action. Celebrate women’s achievement. Raise awareness about discrimination. Take action to drive gender parity. IWD belongs to everyone, everywhere. Inclusion means all IWD action is valid.
Read more about International Women’s Day 2023 at www.internationalwomensday.com
About We Fish as One – #WeFishAsOne
We Fish as One is the Angling Trust’s long-term community inclusion campaign that aims to actively develop and profile local outreach programmes and activities. This will harness the power of fishing as a community building activity, so that people from all backgrounds can experience the life-changing benefits of the sport of angling. We Fish as One is duel funded by Sport England through its Uniting the Movement vision and the Environment Agency through rod fishing licence income. For more information on We Fish as One please visit www/anglingtrust.net/wefishasone