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Thinking about the Veil

AI 54 veilIMG_1261

This past week in class, we spoke about the practice of veiling in different cultures and the view of women in the Quran and Islamic Cultures.  The takeaway from these classes was that the veil, much like the view of women, varied by region.  The veil could be used as a device to restrict women’s freedoms or to others was a source of empowerment.  Similarly, some interpret the Qu’ran to restrict women and others as a feminist text.

To engage with this, I created a cut paper piece where I cut out the image of a model from an issue of the New York Times Style section.  Then I cut strips from advertisements from western designers and stores and used them to veil the original model.  I present images here of the woman both with and without the “veil.”  My intention with this was to create some ambiguity.  Who is the woman being veiled?  Why?  And who is making her wear the veil?  Is it the west. as evidenced by the designer labels?  The intervention of the west was a common theme in this week’s reading of Persepolis.

Furthermore, this is also a comment on women who are not veiled.  Do other fashion choices also hide women?  Or restrict women in the same way that we stereotype the veil?

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