Untitled (2016) highlights the ways in which the hijab is viewed when removed from the body, with the cloth as remnant. This calls to question the perceptions and stereotypes accorded onto the Muslim woman when she dons the hijab, a piece of cloth that when disembodied, is displaced from its social, cultural and political symbols.
Hijab/Her (2012) explores the relationships between the woman and her hijab. The hijab is a piece of cloth that covers her head, used as a way of concealing areas on her body, which should be covered from view. Based on stories by different women who don the hijab, this series presents the hijab as a site of discourse, articulated in relation to the society, the wearer’s body and her inner self.
- I wear the hijab because it is part of my religion. And I wear it gladly. But sometimes, I miss having the wind in my hair. During my schooling years when I didn’t wear the hijab, it was nice having my hair fly all over the place.
- My husband is the very by-the-book kind of guy. He likes to make sure that there is food on the table when he comes home. And since I am a housewife, I have to do the cooking. Sometimes, I spend the whole day just cooking and cleaning, when most of the time, I would much rather read a book than cook.
- I’ve been called a terrorist before. It was a horrible feeling. I felt ashamed initially. But why should I feel ashamed? It wasn’t my fault. It was his. And this happened randomly at the bus stop.
- People like to ask me if I wear the hijab because of religion or fashion. I find that a bit offensive be- cause it means that if you are wearing it for religion, it should look a certain way—boring, plain, black. It doesn’t mean you can’t be fashionable and practise your religion at the same time. I can wear colours and still be a good Muslim.
Nurul Huda is an educator, writer and photographer. Lecturing in various subjects across Anthropology, Liberal and Visual Arts, she commutes across different classrooms with a love for facilitation and perfor- mance. She is also a researcher who focuses on the visual and sentient body, methodologies and feminism. This often intersects with notions of identity, expressed through both the Self and the Other.