Cameraman Boushra Almutawakel He was born in Yemen, trained in the United States, and returned home in the mid-1990s. He was 25 years old, and in a short time he founded a gallery for artistic exhibitions and discussions. There he can present his work and reveal one of his main lines of thought: Women’s role in Islamic and Arab societies. These days his name has spread again and it was precisely because of his way of showing the dangers of women to the authority of religious fanaticism.
There are two collages with photos taken by Boushra Almutawakel Circulate to alert the world The effect it can have woman and kids Among the other vulnerable groups – the advanced Taliban movement in Afghanistan. One of them shows a woman with a girl holding a doll in her arms. They are mother and daughter. The first shot appears in their usual wardrobe. And in each of the following pictures an item is added to cover it: a handkerchief, hijab And the burqa. The gesture on these women’s faces changes from one image to the next as they disappear from the scene. The last shot is the end: only the background is visible. The woman, the girl, and her doll disappeared. It has been erased by the imposition of tyranny.
These days the picture is rife with a legend: “disappearance”. But while it depicts one of the biggest fears plaguing Afghan society these days, it is not a new image. The actual title of the work, in which the artist and her daughter were two heroines, is “Mother, Daughter and Doll”. The photos are a little more than a decade old and the author was impressed by the fact that they are circulated from time to time. “It’s funny because there’s always someone telling me they’ve seen my work on Facebook, but I’m not the one who posts it there,” she once said when she saw how the series became a cyclical fit again.
The shots are part of a larger work that the photographer called: “hijab series‘Aiming to focus on the rights woman parents. “Yemen was already a very conservative country in 2010. I was worried to see the spread of extremist interpretations of Islam. And one of the ways it could be seen was that women were increasingly covered,” recalls the artist, who resurfaced after the Taliban seized power. Afghanistan.
Almutawakel Don’t rebel against it hijab Or even the veil, but it calls for attention to the imposition. She stresses that it should be up to every woman to decide whether to use it or not. “I have mixed feelings about it. When I’m in Yemen, I feel comfortable with it because everyone uses it and in a way I feel more confident than some looks of men. It’s, in a way, liberating. But not for me. It makes sense to cover your eyes or wear gloves.” The other thing that gets me into trouble is seeing girls who wear veils or even the niqab.Although I finally believe that every woman has the right to choose how she wants to present herself to the world, either with hijab, Nikap or without any of them,” I thought when asked about the issue.
Although criticized in this regard, the photographer – aware of the symbolic weight of the veil – is not only concerned with the assumptions that Islamic bigotry imposes on women. woman But also for the implicit or explicit standards they have around the world. “In the West, they are slaves to the media vending machine, which determines how they should dress and how much they weigh. Or turn them into sexual objects in advertisements. This also happens in the rest of the world, from prostitution to pornography,” he said at the time. A celebration of how his work has been interpreted in different ways.
The photos with her daughter are from the 2010 production, when she was seven years old. Much later, the artist realized, “I don’t think much has changed since then regarding the status and rights of women. Anyway, these things have gotten worse.”