Yemeni photographer Boushra Almutawakel photographs mothers and their daughters:
[I]n her “Mother, Daughter, Doll” series, taken from a new exhibit at the Howard Greenberg Gallery, The Middle East Revealed: A Female Perspective, Almutawakel portrays a simple progression—from Western clothing to full hijab—that has far-reaching implications for how we read and register the human form.
Almutawakel explains her thinking:
As an Arab Muslim woman living in Yemen who has first-hand experience with the hijab, I have mixed feelings regarding this topic.
There are certain aspects of the hijab I like and others I don’t particularly care for. I don’t believe it is black or white. I found the veil to be an intriguing, complex, multilayered topic.
In this ongoing project on the hijab/veil I want to explore the many faces and facets of the veil based on my own personal experiences and observations: the convenience, freedom, strength, power, liberation, limitations, danger, humor, irony, variety, cultural, social, and religious aspects, as well as the beauty, mystery, and protection. The hijab/veil as a form of self-expression; the veil as not solely an Arab Middle Eastern phenomenon, the trends, the history and politics of the hijab/veil, as well as differing interpretations, and the fear in regards to the hijab/veil.
I also want to be careful not to fuel the stereotypical widespread negative images most commonly portrayed about the hijab/veil in the Western media, especially the notion that most, or all women who wear the hijab/veil, are weak, oppressed, ignorant, and backwards. Furthermore, I hope to challenge and look at both Western and Middle Eastern stereotypes, fears, and ideas regarding the veil.
See the Howard Greenberg Gallery here.