Arab Diaspora, Identity and Art

Nissrin Zaptia

Recently I was at the private preview and panel discussion of the Moroccan photographer Lalla Essaydi at the Kashya Hilderbrand Gallery in London. Titled ‘The Dangerous Frontier’ the exhibition was a series of photographs depicting Arab women as ‘femme fatales’ surrounded by and elegantly adorned with shimmering fabrics, giving an impression of opulence and luxury.  On closer inspection the image has been created using polished bullet casings which have been hand sewn onto the models’ clothes, jewels and beds – a metaphor, Essaydi has described for ‘the hidden violence endured by women in some Islamic cultures’.

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