Monday, February 03, 2014

Must not depict the  hijab

Photos of women depicted wearing hijabs have been pulled from an forthcoming art exhibition in Melbourne's CBD.  The Platform art gallery in the Degraves Street underpass made a last-minute call on Monday to exclude the photo collection, claiming its representations of hijabs could imply disempower women.

The photos at the centre of issue show women with hair draped around their necks and faces to resemble the Islamic veil.

Australian expat artist Catherine Lane had been booked to exhibit her photo series on feminine beauty at the Platform art space on January 31, until gallery directors pulled the pin.  Lane, 25, was told the gallery directors believed her work was "putting forward the position that all women who wear the hijab are not empowered".

She said her artwork aimed to explore the cultural parallels between women of all backgrounds.

Gallery director Angela Brophy did not answer questions about why she thought the photos could be construed as offensive, but provided a statement saying they had the potential to be misread

The Australian Muslim Women's Centre for Human Rights' Tasneem Chopra said this was not the first time the hijab had been a divisive issue.  But it could be culturally dangerous when artists drew on minority community symbolism, she said.



Anonymous said...

Religion is social politics, mess with it at your peril!

Anonymous said...

And women wearing hijabs are especially empowered how?

Beyond being the rudest people you will meet in a shopping precinct Islam denies them any authority at all.

Anonymous said...

The hijab is a badge of separation or a uniform to (over)emphasize an exclusive tribal/religious affiliation. That might be "empowering" for the tribe or religion in question, but hardly empowering for the individual woman wearing the garb, unless she is extremely nervous of being in public, but that wouldn't help her in the longterm either.