"Joy Is Justice" — Sara Alfageeh’s Favorite Creators of 2023

As 2023 comes to a close, Fann reflects on the Muslim creators and art that defined last year.

"Joy Is Justice" — Sara Alfageeh’s Favorite Creators of 2023

As 2023 comes to a close, Fann is reflecting on the Muslim creators and art that defined the year. It’s been a remarkable year for Muslim creatives: the first Muslim American rom-com made by Muslim American women saw its worldwide release; a musical inspired by a Bollywood classic captivated U.S. audiences; an action movie starring Muslim sisters broke barriers; creative communities came together to support each other through unprecedented hardship. From music to books to art to television to podcasts to everything in between, Muslims have been defining art and pop culture in 2023.

To get the best view of the year possible, Fann reached out to industry experts, asking them about the trailblazers and notable projects in their respective creative fields. These experts were asked not to limit themselves to works that came out this year, instead focusing on any art that defined 2023 for them.

In the words of industry leaders, these are the Muslim creators and art that made 2023 memorable.

Fann’s End-of-Year Wrap-Up is an ongoing series celebrating the end of 2023. Answers have been edited for length and clarity.


Who are you?

Sara Alfageeh, award-winning illustrator and game developer.

Who is one fellow Muslim creator in your industry who you admired this year?

Dewi Putri Megawati.

Tell us more about why you like the creator above.

Dewi Putri Megawati, or "Meg" as she is also known, put out her art book “Out of Style” with ShortBox Press this year. It's absolute joy, [depicting] wonderful and whimsical slice-of-life scenes of her young characters. Characters like Mila, Yul, Hana and their friends are hilarious, dynamic and endearing in comic strips and full-page illustrations while also being casually Muslim. These scenes are effortlessly fun in a way that speaks to Meg's talent as a storyteller [in] the way they sweep up viewers right into the moment. In a world that tells Muslims to use their talents only for "serious" issues, this is a refreshing reminder that joy is the whole point. Joy is justice. Frivolity is necessary, and the mundane is magical.

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A post shared by m e g | Dewi Putri M. (@winchestermeg)

Any other Muslim art you enjoyed this year?

“The Adventures of Amina Al-Sirafi” by Shannon Chakraborty. The animation shorts and TikTok profile of SaberOH.

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A post shared by SaberOH! (@saberoh_)

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