Standing out ever so brightly from her fellow peers in the Middle East is Senegal-born, Kuwaiti musician and artist Fatima Al-Qadiri. Based in New York’s blossoming Brooklyn borough, Fatima draws inspiration for her music from Islamic a cappella tunes, favored by the traditionally inclined, and touches upon socio-religious topics. Warn U is the latest endeavor by Fatima and her troupe Ayshay, a fitting name since with Fatima anything goes.
Just under 3 minutes, Warn U manages to provide a stirring and bewildering audio and visual experience with ingenuity and sincerity. The video alternates between amateur footage of a sinister otherworldly structure and snippets of an aged pastel-toned video of a man presenting a tesseract hypercube.
The transitions between the two sets of footage are rapidly eye-popping jagged cutouts, which disconcert the viewer.
All the while, a cappella vocals that vary in pitch are layered over one another and are stretched into a haunting drone over subtle industrial thumps. Marking a turning point, Fatima peels her way into the video roughly half-way through and the two clips transparently melt into each other.
It would be presumptuous to dissect every scene in this abstract piece in an attempt to flesh out exactly what Fatima is trying to express, however, several themes subtly come across.
The video evokes parallel universes, foreign lands and a pacifist approach to life in the face of darkness and the unfamiliar. Fatima Al-Qadiri manages to visualize the human mind’s capability of being both hostile and frightened with intense feeling and convey a sense of urgency.