The Veil: Rich with Elegance and Controversy

Laura El-Tantawy
Laura El-Tantawy
Pushkar, India, 2008

In both Muslim and Western societies the veil worn by Muslim women has
 long aroused deep passions, misunderstandings and plenty of heated debates. To many non-Muslims, the veil often connotes repression against women, foreignness, religion, mystery—even sexuality. Depending on the woman, the family, the place and the time—it can embody all, any, or none of these things. But discussion of the veil rarely places emphasis on the characters and emotions of the women who actually wear them.

In her ongoing body of work, The Veil, photographer and
 artist Laura El-Tantawy strives to do just that. El-Tantawy grew up in
 Egypt, as part of a moderate Muslim family where most of the women wore veils. El-Tantawy chooses not to wear a headscarf, but she sees an overlooked beauty in the piece of fabric that has been so central to images of her family and her society. Seeing herself as a citizen of both East and West, El-Tantawy believes there is a widespread misconception in western society about the Muslim veil.

Of her work, El-Tantawy says “Veils are beautiful and elegant—Colorful, vibrant, sheer fabrics that are all about femininity and beauty. I started this work with the intention of showing the veil as something that brings women of different traditions together rather than divides them. It’s about showing similarities rather than differences, which is all we ever hear about, and it’s about showing what has become a symbolically repressive practice really isn’t repressive after all, but liberating, feminine, beautiful and grounded in tradition rather than religion.”

Laura El-Tantawy is an Egyptian photojournalist based in London. To see more of her work, click here.

Related Topics: , , , ,

Latest Posts

CHICAGO, IL. USA. September 2014Chicago police officers look for evidence after four people were hit as they stood in the parking lot of a Pizza Hut at 67th Street and Stony Island Avenue around 10:40 p.m. Monday Aug 25. A 16-year-old girl was shot in the thigh; a woman, 22, was wounded in the neck; another woman, 18, suffered a graze wound to the stomach; and a man, 26, was shot in the leg. Nobody died from their injuries ( Photo by Carlos Javier Ortiz)

Photojournalism Daily: Dec. 8, 2014

Photojournalism Daily is a compilation of the most interesting photojournalism found on the web, curated by Mikko Takkunen

Read More
Spanish Riding School performs in Amsterdam

The Best Pictures of the of the Week: Nov. 28 – Dec. 5.

Cadets

Face to Face with Europe’s Military Cadets

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 20,296 other followers