Kainat Ali Khan - Dupatta Diaries
Let’s get real folks - this digital age we live in has it’s downfalls. Many of us are guilty of whipping out our phones at the dinner table and pointlessly thumb-scrolling on our Instagram or Facebook feeds. Some people constantly compare the way they look against heavily-filtered photos. Others base their self-worth on the number of followers they have. It’s madness we tell you!
…over the past year, we have been exposed to some inspirational and thought-provoking posts via Instagram, and crossed paths with some like-minded artists. One such soul is Kainat Ali Khan, and it’s precisely people like Kainat who make us appreciate the benefits that Social Media actually has to offer. Kainat aka Dupatta Diaries is a poet, photographer and feminist from Cambridge, England; but with her heart and soul firmly (and proudly) attached to her Afghan and Pakistani roots.
Tell us about Kainat Ali Khan
I am a 20 year old, aspiring Scientist living in Cambridge, England. Belonging to an Afghan/Pakistani heritage, with an English upbringing, I’m known to some as Dupatta Diaries. My photography is based on concepts which accompany my written pieces. I write as a voice for the voiceless, to better our societies. With these words of mine, coated in love and dusted with peace, I stir rusty minds. All in the hope to polish a new generation of fresh perspectives, aware and acceptant of the unspoken tales of the East.
What or who was the inspiration behind ‘Dupatta Diaries’?
A collection of ideas and inspirations drove me to start Dupatta Diaries, but the greatest idea behind this was the urge for originality. Through the years of using social media, I started to sense a robotic trend. Dupatta Diaries was created to inspire young women to lift any pressures they are subjected to and become everything they want.
What was the inspiration behind the name ‘Dupatta Diaries’?
Dupatta - because I wanted to carry a symbol of my heritage.
Diaries - a collection of thoughts.
What challenges do you face on a day-to-day basis in your artistic ventures?
I am a feminist, which in itself is a controversy to many. My blogging consists of written pieces with complementary artwork, in the form of ‘food for thought’. In other words, I write about issues surrounding culture/religion/politics, which proves a challenge for me in a number of ways. I love to voice my opinion but I also believe greatly in being kind and warm. So, the process of writing something that will reach thousands of people from all different walks of life, proves a struggle in terms of unconsciously offending anybody.
How do you like to unwind after a long day of pouring your energy into your art?
I like to consider art itself as a way of unwinding. That is, when all the studying and deadlines get to my head, art is my saviour. It gives me space to immerse into all the things I am passionate about and love to do. This doesn’t just go for blogging, my favourite way of unwinding is drawing. It’s a wonderful form of therapy and loosening for busy minds!
What’s your motto?
I argue sincerity in an insincere world.
How do you stay motivated?
The life that goes on around me, makes me restless, motivates me to write. As little as an opinion expressed by a stranger, or as big as a political movement, there is an itching feeling in me looking for ways to express myself. Writing has always been my way of coping and I use this for my blogging too.
What makes you feel good?
This is a wonderful question! My most desired feeling is hearing the sound of rain, or even better, being in rain.
What’s been your greatest struggle, and how do you generally overcome negative emotions?
One of the main struggles while growing up has been assertiveness, learning to simply say no. Negative emotions do get to me, but don’t always get the better of me. Communication and being optimistic is what leads negative sentiments away from me.
How have your family and friends encouraged you to pursue what you are doing?
I haven’t got a very big family or a huge bunch of friends, but in terms of encouragement and brushing off negativity, my family and friends have been great. Random messages of appreciation are also what keep me going, knowing there are people out there who love Dupatta Diaries, is extremely uplifting.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
My father’s knowledge, his bravery and spirit drives the determination in me. My mother’s resilience, experience and compassion influences positivity in my existence. They say, behind every successful man, there is a woman. For me, with regards to my work, life, practically every aspect, I owe it to my parents.
You are having a dinner party – which three people would you invite. and why?
First of all I would invite Malala Yousafzai, because I have many unanswered questions about her journey as an activist. Secondly, I would invite the man who rotated the dynamics of this world, Osama Bin Laden. Simply because I want to know how this identity changed the world we live in right now. Lastly, I would invite Benazir Bhutto, the first woman leader of a Muslim country in modern history. She served as prime minister two times during 1988–90 and in 1993–96. It amazes me how in a heavily male dominant culture, Bhutto became the most inspirational and loved woman, in the history of Pakistan.
Follow Kainat’s journey: