The Veil

This image is currently touring the USA in a show entitled “The Veil; Visible and Invisible spaces”. It features art by women having to do with the religious and/or cultural veiling of women. I have complicated and mixed feelings about the issue, and this show has been curated to show different viewpoints on the subject.
Lindsey Kouvaris, the curator of exhibits and collections at de Saisset museum, says, “The goal of this showcase, as presented by Jennifer Heath and the artists involved, is to look beyond the cultural stereotypes and clichés that we all associate with the practice of veiling especially in regard to the Muslim religion.
“The artists are looking at veiling in much broader sense, in a social, metaphorical and religious perspective. The practice of veiling transcends cultures, religions and centuries and this show is trying to redefine the current associations involved with veiling.”
According to Fayeq Oweis, Arabic language and culture professor at Santa Clara, the artwork aims to break the prevalent western perception of the veil as an oppressive garment worn as part of the Muslim tradition. “For many cultures in the Eastern tradition, the veil is a choice and serves as a symbol of transition to adulthood for many young women, allowing for a sense of modesty and class,” said Oweis.
Naim Farhat, founder of the Farhat Art Museum in Lebanon, and owner of the central piece “The Dresses” by Mary Tuma. said, “The presentation of these artworks allows for dialogue and open discussion on certain controversial issues and provides for less friction between opposing viewpoints.”
It’s an interesting show in which to be involved. And frankly it does upset me when I see a woman in full black burka in sweltering summer heat!

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