Alia Ali’s practice deconstructs cultural binaries, breaking down reductive ideas around gender and identity. In this series, an ambiguous figure is shrouded in textile, overwhelmed by repeated patterns of poppies. The flower carries charged associations with death and war – from WWI to recent conflicts in the Middle East – and with the opiates it produces. These histories are intertwined: until recently Afghanistan was the world’s largest grower of poppies, underwriting the world’s trade in heroin. Rendered faceless by fabric, the figure’s identity is subsumed by the cloth, which extends onto the very frame of the image. These are images that resist easy categorisation, critiquing the histories and symbols that shape the assumptions we make about other people.