Friday, November 26, 2010

Henna Calligraphy of a Different Sort

I think these photographs are beautiful.

With yesterday being Thanksgiving in our country,
we do forget to be thankful, that we, woman, are allowed to voice our beliefs and our opinions.
We are not silenced, although we may at times face the old oppositions.
I am thankful for all the women who before me sacrificed themselves, were called "bitch," and other names, who lost their jobs, who may have lost their marriages all for the sake of knowing that their opinion and my opinion to come later down the years matters! I also thank the women who still make these sacrifices in this country and other countries every day. To make sacrifices for the sake of what is right and healthy for themselves, their daughters, their mothers, their sisters, their friends, and for the global community of women and men who are united in love.
Thank you.

Lalla Essaydi plays with words. And silence.

She combines the art of "women's" henna with what she calls the "masculine" art of Arabic calligraphy in a process that can take weeks to realize, while the artist and her helpers work ceaselessly, applying the henna to fabric, walls, body...

The subjects and their surroundings are covered from head to toe with henna calligraphy.

“I am writing. I am writing on me, I am writing on her. The story began to be written the moment the present began.” Translated from the original Arabic, Essaydi’s personal writing subverts traditional Muslim gender stereotypes through the presence of the written word. The sacred Islamic art form of calligraphy, traditionally reserved exclusively for men, is employed by Essaydi as a small act of defiance against a culture in which women are relegated to the private sphere. Crossing a prohibited cultural threshold through the act of writing, Les Femmes du Maroc enables the artist and her subjects to engage in a simple act of self-expression.

Her latest book of art photography, Les femmes du Maroc, is a collaboration with noted Moroccan feminist and sociologist Fatema Mernissi. 


1 comment:

  1. What a great blog. It is going to be a pleasure to follow. Looking forward to many more visits.