During these formative years Saye worked also as an activist and educator. One of the groups she volunteered for is Jawaab, a grassroots charity that supports young Muslims and runs anti-racism workshops, where she produced videos about educational inequality and taught London school children photography skills.
“She was just so at ease with absolutely everyone, whether it was school kids or impressive and intimidating-sounding people like MPs,” Nadia Inha says, program coordinator at Jawaab. “She wasn’t one of those artists separated from the context in which they live. She had come from an area that was quite deprived, where people weren’t represented the way they should be, and she really passionately cared about that.”
A few days after the fire, volunteers from Jawaab went to Latymer Road in West London and made a small memorial tribute to her. “Some of us wrote poems,” Nadia says. “A lot of the messages were saying that we would continue struggling for what she was campaigning for, which was not only greater recognition in an artistic sense but social justice and equality.”
Dwelling: in this space we breathe, which features the artist posing with sacred objects from Gambia, represents the end of a tragically short career—according to Green, most of Saye’s physical work perished in the apartment too. But it is nonetheless a profoundly mature work: the culmination of her life-long interest in questions of identity, belonging and rootedness.