The Burqa Project
The burqa covers a woman head to toe, with only a mesh screen for her to look out on the world. The world, however, does not see her face. For some she has just been reduced to a voluminous object that floats about the landscape. To others, her anonymity has transgressed into omniscient power.
With the Afghan burqa, I take a loaded, iconic object and upend its literal meaning and challenge the viewer to contemplate the idea that there is power in anonymity and that an unreturned gaze is just as powerful, if not more so, than one that is exchanged. Using something with which I have no personal history allows me to explore the burqa’s other attributes such as protection and anonymity. Although the burqa is shrouded in religious significance, I take it out of this context in an attempt to explore these other attributes.