My City My shirt mural Cardiff

My City, My Shirt | Video of the Week

Introducing Video of the Week from Wales Arts Review. We’ll be showcasing some of the best new art in Wales with a new video shared every week. From music to drama and everything in between, videos will not be limited by medium. Today we take a look at “My City, My Shirt” a visual arts project from Yusuf Ismail and Shawqi Hasson.

Today, we take a look at a video detailing the inspiration behind the ‘My City, My Shirt’ project – a visual arts campaign orchestrated by Yusuf Ismail and Shawqi Hasson, launched to celebrate Cardiff’s diversity. The mural features Maimuna Indjai in a Cardiff City shirt, and has since been dubbed ‘Butetown’s Mona Lisa.’

The visual arts project first started as a poster campaign focussing on a message of diversity and inclusion, particularly in regard to football. The idea came to Ismail, a Cardiff-based creative, in 2019. He was sat at a Cardiff City football match with his friend when he noticed that they were the only People of Colour (PoC) visible in the whole stadium. After seeing this same occurrence on subsequent games, Ismail decided to take action with his idea for a campaign to make PoC feel more welcome in the football grounds whilst saluting the rich diversity of Cardiff as a city.

The idea developed further with the help of the Football Supporters Association, with input from Anwar Uddin. The campaign began with portraits of fans from a whole host of backgrounds displayed around Cardiff on matchdays, and later culminated in a photography exhibit held in Cardiff Cathedral during Black History Month.

Speaking on the exhibition, Ismail told the FSA:

“I remember telling Anwar about my initial idea and feeling a little hesitant that we could execute what we had in our head, but Anwar gave us the encouragement and support that really fuelled us to jump into the project head first. It’s something I will be forever indebted to him about, because his enthusiasm was completely infectious.”

Hear Ismail talk more about the ‘My City, My Shirt’ project in the video below.

You can read more about the campaign here.