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MARIA QAMAR EXPLORES DESI IDENTITY WITH HER INSTAGRAM ART SERIES HATECOPY

Combining a Pop-Art style with satirical takes on life as a young Desi woman, artist Maria Qamar’s work has struck a chord online, resulting in an Instagram following 50,000 strong and growing. Posting under the name @hatecopy, the 25-year-old daughter of Pakistani immigrants to Canada started drawing her series after being laid off from an advertising job a year ago. “My work shows different parts of my life from youth to adulthood,” says Qamar, “dealing with the constant tug-of-war between my South-Asian culture and my adopted Western environment.”

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HC portraitPhotographed by Justin Broadbent

Qamar’s images, which she calls “Indian memes,” hilariously depict a world full of ever-critical and overly dramatic aunties, cultural appropriation, and forbidden white boys with names like “Brad” and “Ryan.” Many drawings are lighthearted and meant to make her audience laugh, but others serve as commentary on more serious parts of her culture that Qamar finds problematic and struggles to understand. “Art and design are my passion, yet a big part of Hatecopy is motivating and promoting the arts within the Desi community,” Qamar explains. “Too often, kids are discouraged from pursuing a career in the arts because of outdated judgments and stigma. Hopefully, with Hatecopy, I can provide an outlet for younger generations to be inspired to create artistic work.” Qamar says most of the feedback about her project has been positive, but when it comes to Hatecopy’s haters, let’s just say she’s not crying over spilt chai. Check out more of Qamar’s work on Instagram @hatecopy.

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By Olivia Harrison

This article originally appeared in the August/September 2016 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!

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