11 December 2009

Book Recommendation: Veil

Veil: Modesty, Privacy and Resistance
by Fadwa El Guindi

El Guindi discusses the relationship between "the veil" and space in her book Veil: Modesty, Priacy and Resistance. She brings up the topic of versitility of a piece of fabric:

"One property of the veil is its dynamic flexibility, which allows for spontaneous manipulation and instant changing of form. The quality of pull down to uncover or pull up to cover provides the wearer with the advantage of instant maneuvering." (p.97-98)

Another topic El Guindi brings up is the aesthetic relationship between the viewing screen of a burqa and the mashrabiyya:

"'the veil which women in Ghanyari wear can also be used in a similar way to the burqa as a kind of 'shutter' from the gaze of the public in general...' While all face veils have the same property- 'transparency' for the wearer- the one that makes the point dramatically is the Afghan form. A veil- mashrabiyya visual comparison..." (p. 102)