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Illustrating Begum Rokeya's ‘Sultana’s Dream’

Our fellow Shehzil Malik has created an artwork based on Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain's novella Sultana's Dream (1905), a Bengali science fiction short story of feminist utopia.

Daily Star Books editor Sarah Anjum Bari got in touch with the artist to discuss Malik's motivations and inspirations for the artwork.

"Throughout the artwork there are women who are working, studying, cooking, working, reading, and enjoying themselves. It's meant to present a feminist future—one where humanity uses technology to connect to nature, beauty, love and community.

I was inspired by Indian and Persian miniature paintings and their use of space and time. These paintings often show many interactions happening in a single artwork, and take the viewer through multiple perspectives and scales to tell a story. There's no one hero in these paintings, but it gives the viewer the chance to find their own meaning in the artwork. I think combining these pre-colonial methods of artmaking with a story from colonial India—and then drawing the artwork digitally in post-colonial times- it makes me excited to see the possibilities!" Shehzil Malik

Read the interview here.