In celebration of International Women’s Day (which TBH we think should actually be errrrry day) our gal Riya Hamid is teaming up with Beats by Dr Dre to take over ISLA on 7th March!

Artist and poet Riya, splits her time between her native New York and new home here in Berlin. Her work explores the "nuances of brown femininity and the dynamics of class + haziness of identity - synthesising memories from childhood as an immigrant from Bangladesh with contemporary reflections on interpersonal relationships, longing, and all that is ordinary," she explains on her website.

Busy traveling between cities in the lead up to her event, we were lucky enough to steal some of Riya's time to get a sneak peak into her life and what she has planned for IWD.

What can we expect from your store takeover at the ISLA x Beats By Dr Dre event?
"A wholesome art-filled experience in good company. I always find these things straining to categorize, but most of my work stems from trying to understand the symbiotic distance between self and the external."

How would you describe your artwork and poetry in 3 words? 
"Lucid, nostalgic, inconsistent."

What emotions tend to sway you between your artwork and poetry? Do you identify the two mediums as separate outlets to express the way you’re feeling? 
"I find that I can draw casually and be amused by the trajectory of my fingers— it’s very therapeutic, but writing is usually cathartic and more sensory. I find it more difficult to write than to draw, and I know the comparison is wholly unnecessary— but poetry is the purest art form." 

What do your friends and family back home, think of your artwork and poetry?
"My friends are my family, and they believe in me even when I don’t." 

What is it about Berlin that enticed you away from New York? Is there anything in particular that the Berlin scene has that you feel New York doesn’t? 
"As a native New Yorker who experienced gentrification unfold to the extreme, I could no longer justify sacrificing my mental wellbeing for something as basic as a roof, but Berlin is a special little place that I cozy up to a little more each day. There’s a greater barrier between people and capitalism here, which is why it attracts so many creatives who can really sustain themselves without getting into a burn-out robotic frenzy."

Come by on 7th March to experience Riya's work, catch up with friends, and celebrate being the strong independent women we are. You'll also get to enjoy some complimentary treats: nails, tooth gems and a limited edition illustration.
On the night there'll be music from the ISLA network including LINNÉA, Laura Clock, and AUCO, with an afterparty at PRIVATCLUB from 10pm til late. Check out our Facebook event for more info and invite your gal pals, see you there!