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May 8th, 2014 at 1:44 pm (Uncategorized)


During Week 12 of the course, we read Persepolis, a graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi. In Persepolis, the veil is often violently forced upon women. Marji attends an anti-fundamentalism demonstration that turned violent when a group of men attacked yelling, “The scarf or a beating” (Satrapi 76). Another example of this violence comes from women and is directed to women.  The women’s branch of the Guardians of the Revolution “had been added in 1982, to arrest women who were improperly veiled” (Satrapi 132).If this group of women captured Marji, they had the power to “detain [her] for hours, or for days. [She] could be whipped. In short, anything could happen to [her] “(Satrapi 134). These portrayals of the veil might support the stereotypes that the hijab is something Muslim women are forced to wear,  and is a way of suppressing women. However, in most part of the world, wearing the hijab is a choice that each Muslim woman makes. For these women, the hijab is not taking away any freedoms; it can bring them closer to Islam. Also in Persepolis, the most conservative form of the veil, the chador, is seen as a marker of fundamentalism. But the hijab does not need to be a symbol of fundamentalism or backward-ness. This idea is what the #MIPSTERZ movement is trying to combat. In their video “Somewhere in America” the women show that wearing the hijab and dressing conservatively, does not stop them from being stylish and hip. The outfit Marji wears on page 131, is one that would surely earn the approval of the Mipsters!

My artistic response was inspired by the “Somewhere in America” video shown in lecture. Like the video, I decided to do a mini photoshoot around Harvard. This was a very personal undertaking, for I do not usually wear the hijab outside of the mosque or my home. Living in America, wearing the hijab often makes you stand out; and considering America’s recent history much of this attention is unwanted. Yet for this photoshoot I had to walk around my dorm building, and Harvard Square while wearing the hijab. I also chose outfits that represented multiple parts of my identity at once. In one such outfit (top and bottom left), the shirt I am wearing is one half of a traditional Nigerian outfit. I usually do not wear these ethnic clothes except for special occasions and holidays. With this outfit I am putting both my Nigerian and Muslim identities on display. The last outfit (top and bottom right) has a “punk” or “rocker” look. In this I am wearing a t-shirt for the band Skillet. This outfit shows that I listen to music, a controversial topic in Islam. Also Skillet happens to be a Christian rock band, which is quite ironic in this case. The “Not Art” element was unplanned. During the photoshoot we ran into the guy responsible for the NOT ART graffiti spreading around Harvard square. I think the image with the sticker is conveying a strong message, that is completely open to the interpretation of the reader. Is the hijab art? Is my face art? Is the graffiti in the background art? Is the photo itself art? Or are none of these art as all?


  1. zenius education said,

    June 27, 2015 at 3:40 am

    Very sweet

  2. Amit Kumar Bansal said,

    August 10, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    Lovely article..
    Raksha Bandhan Quotes for sister

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