Khadija Saye – You Are Missed is a commemorative
portrait by Sasha Huber, honouring the late Khadija Saye (born 1992,
Hammersmith – died 2017, North Kensington) an artist,
activist, and carer who died alongside her mother
in the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017 in west London.
Saye’s photography explored her Gambian-British identity, heritage, and ideas of spirituality. In 2016, during the Black Chronicles: Missing Chapter exhibition Autograph hosted a tintype workshop over three days, where more than 300 portraits were made. Saye was one of the participants, creating a series of self-portraits which she later gifted to her mother. Although the original tintypes were destroyed in the fire that claimed the young artist’s life, the works were digitised at the time and form the basis for Huber’s portrait.
Using her signature staple gun method (which Huber uses to create works she refers to as 'pain-things'), she meticulously shot hundreds of staples into a fire
burned piece of wood as a symbolic act of remembering
the 72 individuals including Saye who tragically lost
their lives, and those that continue to be affected by
this tragedy. As with many of Huber’s works the ‘shooting’
symbolises a stitching of wounds; making visible lost
narratives resisting the notion of erasure. Huber says:
“When I heard about Khadija and her mother’s loss,
I felt deep sorrow…I wanted to portray her with my
air staple gun to highlight unequal power dynamics
in our society”. This portrait was made for Autograph’s
commissioning project Amplify – Stranger in the Village: Afro European Matters.
is a Helsinki-based, multidisciplinary visual artist-researcher of Swiss-Haitian heritage. Sensitive to the subtle threads connecting history and the present, she uses and responds to archival material within a layered creative practice that encompasses performance-based interventions, video, photography, and collaborations.
Huber frequently reclaims – aware of its symbolic significance – the compressed-air staple gun as an artistic ‘weapon’, tapping into its potential to renegotiate unequal power dynamics. She is known for her artistic research contribution to the Demounting Louis Agassiz campaign which aims to dismantle the glaciologist’s lesser-known but contentious racist heritage. Huber also often works in a creative partnership with artist Petri Saarikko with whom she initiated the long-term project Remedies Universe.
Huber holds an MA in visual culture from the Aalto University and is presently undertaking a practice-based PhD at Zurich University of the Arts. Huber has had numerous solo presentations, artist residencies and participated in international exhibitions and festivals, including the 56th Venice Biennial in 2015. In 2021 Huber’s solo exhibition tour YOU NAME IT began at Kunstinstituut Melly in Rotterdam and continues to The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto; Autograph in London in 2022/23; and Turku Art Museum in Finland in 2023. In 2018 the Arts Promotion Centre Finland awarded Huber the State Art Award in the category visual arts and in 2022 she received a multi-year artist grant.
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Autograph is a place to see things differently. Since 1988, we have championed photography that explores issues of race, identity, representation, human rights and social justice, sharing how photographs reflect lived experiences and shape our understanding of ourselves and others.Donate Join our mailing list