Five years ago I wrote for the first time about Princess Hijab – a street ad-busting artist (like Vermibus from Berlin) who changes the look of advertising fashion campaigns by painting a veil over the pretty photoshopped faces of the models. Because of the current Fashion Week I was looking back into old articles and realized how on the edge her art is in this particular time. Even if she seems not active as an artist any more, I wanted to look deeper into the meaning of her artwork to see if it could help me with my thoughts about the current political situation.
Read the results of my thinking after the veil. 😉
When the first artworks appeared in the Parisian subway a couple of years ago, people thought she would criticize the ban on burkas in France. But she denied it. In contrary she said: “If it was only about the burqa ban, my work wouldn’t have a resonance for very long. But I think the burqa ban has given a global visibility to the issue of integration in France”.
Also she is not religiously motivated to “hide the face” of the men and the women in the campaign. Regarding her connection to the Islam she comments “The spiritual interests me, but that’s personal, I don’t think it bears on my work. Religion interests me, Muslims interest me and the impact they can have, artistically, aesthetically, in the codes that are all around us, particularly in fashion”.
When I read this I thought: Wow. Maybe Fashion can have importance in this very unsatisfying dialogue between the Western and Oriental world happening right now. If we would use fashion and its cultural imagery more often to create a platform for creative exchange the veil would one day not be seen as a thread but as something that gives our society more richness and diversity.
Princess Hijab says about the veil: “I chose the veil because it does what art should do: It challenges, it frightens, and it re-imagines.”
If Berlin fashion would concentrate on achieving exactly these three goals more fervidly maybe our Berlin Fashion Week could become an important cultural platform for peace and prosperity. In all the future prognosis of the Fashion Week that is again fighting with its relevance for the city and for the fashion world in general this might be a good direction.
photos via: Funstuffcafe