After spending years documenting the legacy of the former Soviet Union, Fabian Muir decided to turn his lens onto his own country. His series Blue Burqa in a Sunburnt Country encourages a reevaluation of what wearing the burqa means.
Muir travelled 10,000 km around Australia to photograph a blue burqa-clad figure in various different landscapes and even donned the burqa himself to capture Bondi Beach through the mesh of its veil. As the work progressed he became fascinated by how the burqa interacts with the surrounding sky, sea and scenery; billowing in a desert wind, hanging in folds as its wearer paddles at the water’s edge or simply merging with the pure blue of a cloudless sky.
The 2017 sequel to this series, Urban Burqa, explores similar themes. This time the burqa is taken to more confronting urban environments, an allegorical meditation on the dramatic shifts in the world’s political landscapes during this period and the challenges faced by people from conflict-riven or oppressive cultures seeking to assimilate into those of the west.
Muir’s extensive work in the DPRK (North Korea) has also received global recognition, with the images appearing in many of the world’s most prestigious publications while earning him a Magnum Photography Award (2016), Zeiss Photography Award (2017) and FotoEvidence Book Award (2017), along with exhibitions of the work in London, New York and Europe.
Fabian Muir shares his time between Sydney and Europe.