Nationalism, migration and exile: the photographs of Youssef Nabil

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Gayed, Andrew




This thesis investigates Middle Eastern Contemporary Art and the photographic art being produced by artists from the North American Diaspora. Currently base in New York, Egyptian artist Youssef Nabil’s self-portraits are the site of exploration that drive my theoretical ideas of exile and identity. Most importantly, I discuss how an Exilic Aesthetic is created through Youssef Nabil’s self-identification in his mediated photographs, articulating cultural dichotomies facing the Middle Eastern diaspora in North America through his own visual narrative. After having discussed diasporic and exilic identity, I explore the concept of Islamic/non-Western Modernities and their relationship to displacement, trauma, and Arab sexualities/masculinities within a post-colonial framework. Through the analysis of Nabil’s photographic art, my intent is to see if we can reach a Modernity narrative that works beyond sexual oppression versus acceptance, and instead examines a negotiation of diasporic sexuality by incorporating different sociological strategies to help self-identification categories be less dichotomous.


Art History
Middle Eastern History
Cultural Anthropology




Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Arts: 

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Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Art History

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Theses and Dissertations

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