This morning I attended a coffee morning hosted by a local group Muslim women who run a community group. The group is aimed at celebrating muslim women and exploring how they are able to be strong, accomplished women within the boundaries of their purdah.
I offered to take photographs, knowing I would be restricted. The group were very pleased to accept my offer and I took several photographs of the morning which they will use within the group to publicise it. I was asked explicitly not to post the images online, even though I took no photographs of any faces (except of those whom I knew would be ok with it, and whose permission I had first obtained).
The challenge was how to document an event without showing faces. As I left, I discussed doing further work with them. I would love to reach a point where I can do portraits but stay within the boundaries that these women live by. We’ll see if I get there. I have a booklet from them which describes how the prophet “purged the world … from the subjugation of women”.
The second challenge is for me, a white, liberal, western women with strong feminist ideals to look at this objectively. And two remain open minded. I am sure I will learn more than a thing to two!
Needless to say, I won’t be putting any images up here. But I do hope in time I will be able to do some work with these women. We will have to see.