- Published on Monday, 30 April 2012 18:03
This article, written by Safa Samiezade'-Yazd, appeared on Art:21 on April 30,2012
The veil is an item of clothing dramatically overburdened with competing symbolism… For women who wear it and artists who represent it, the veil is a garment whose meaning cannot be contained.
It is a garment fought over by adherents and opponents, many of whom claim that their understanding of the veil’s significance is the one and true meaning.
- Reina Lewis, Veil: Veiling, Representation and Contemporary Art
A former professor asked me one time, “Do you think the veil is one of today’s last uncolonized territories?” What kind of absurd question is that? – at least that’s what I thought. Yet my instructor did have a point. You can’t even begin to address gender and female identity in Middle Eastern art without looking at the one object that encapsulates and defines the average Muslim woman to naked, unknowing Western eyes: the veil. Like the hat in English, it’s a piece of clothing that has no singular name in Arabic and no solitary motivation: job, class, ethnicity, law, religion, fashion–these are just a handful of reasons why a Middle Eastern woman may choose to wear a veil.
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