Born in Chicago to Yemini parents, Yasmine Diaz grew up to a distinctively hybridized experience. Her childhood encompassed a complicated relationship with Islam, patriarchal Yemini cultural and social norms, juxtaposed with 80’s and 90’s pop culture via MTV where Salt-N-Pepa unapologetically affirmed that a woman’s sex life is “None of Your Business”. With the absence of Arab celebrities, queer divas - David Bowie, Prince, Madonna and Blondie became Diaz’s heroes. “The streets in my hometown of Chicago could not be more different from the highlands of Yafa, Yemen, where both of my parents are from,” she says. “Being exposed to conflicting traditions, social norms, and gender roles complicated my personal expectations, and those of my family and community.” Now living in Los Angeles, her work has migrated from oil painting and photography, to firmly highlighting themes of gender and bicultural identity; family honour, shame and reputation; expressed most pointedly through collage.
Yasmine Diaz is a co-organizer and past fellow of at land's edge. Her work has been featured by Deeyah Khan's Sister-Hood, Kolaj Magazine, the Albuquerque Museum of Art, and in the collections of the UCLA School of Public Affairs.