Osman Yousefzada is a British interdisciplinary artist and writer, engaging with the representation, rupture and reimagining of the migration experience. He works across moving image, installation, sculpture, textile, and performance, referring to the socio-political issues of today. Yousefzada’s practice is led by modes of storytelling, merging autobiography with fiction and ritual.
Yousefzada is a research practitioner at the Royal College of Art, London, and a visiting Fellow at Jesus College, Cambridge University. His work has been shown at notable international institutions including: Whitechapel Gallery, London; Ikon Gallery, Birmingham; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; Wapping Project, London; Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio; Ringling Museum, Florida; Lahore Museum, Pakistan; and Design Museum, London. Lahore Biennale, Pakistan and Dhaka Art Summit, Bangladesh.
Yousefzada’s practice has been described as “defiant”, in which the participating bodies throughout his work are presented as part objects that refuse to identify or conform. Most recently, his series of solo interventions titled ‘What Is Seen & What Is Not’ was shown at the Victoria & Albert Museum in South Kensington, London. Across three site-specific works, this presentation explored themes of displacement, movement, migration, and climate change. He has made clothes for Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Lupita Nyong’o, Gwen Stefani, Emma Watson and many more. His experience within the fashion industry continues to inform the politics of his practice concerned with the rights of the anonymous worker and disposable consumerism.
He edits The Collective and has written for Vogue, the Guardian and Observer. In his memoir, The Go-Between (2022), set in Birmingham in the 1980s and 1990s, alternative masculinities compete with strict gender roles while female erasure and honour-based violence are committed, even as empowering female friendships prevail. This first book was long listed for the Polari Prize and reviewed by Stephen Fry as ‘one of the greatest childhood memoirs of our time’.
[The Go-Between is] one of the greatest childhood memoirs of our time
[The Go-Between is] a page turner full of love, wisdom and yearning
Kit De Waal