Bismillah / In the Light

by Aziza Afzal & Eden Chinn

This work appears in Khabar Keslan Issue 2. PASSAGE


I pass through space thinking about how I am seen. I conceal and expose elements of myself to feel permitted. I am not pretending. Just conflicted. To hold conflicting truths, “bismillah” (R Hand) and “in the light” (L hand), as one.  I am a whole entity despite my many halves. I give myself permission to exist opaquely and transparently. Bismillah, I hold you in the light, may safe passage be granted to all the parts of our wholes, no matter what parts are visible as we move.


Aziza Afzal is a Pakistani American, Quaker, and Muslim writer, performer, and collaborator currently based in Baltimore, MD.

Eden Chinn is an first generation American, half Jewish artist and photographer born and raised in New York City, currently pursuing her undergraduate degree in Art History at Reed College. Her photography focuses on the performance of identity for the camera as a source of creative collaboration and communication, self-knowledge, and self-actualization for women and femmes.