No wind- with hijab

She began this series in 2012 , photographing women’s hair, normally hidden from public view under a hijab, a scarf that covers her head, concealing her hair in public. The hijab is seen as a way to protect these woman, keeping them as a treasure; for Lina to photograph them without this cover – a commandment of God – would be considered a sin in Islamic tradition.

Memories of how her mother and friends changed when they removed their hijab filled her with curiosity to photograph women’s hair and chronicle the length of time they had covered it. In order to make the photographs she envisioned, allowing the women to reveal their hair and not break their Islamic beliefs, she consulted a number of Imam, or spiritual leaders, living in Copenhagen where she resides: “I’m a member of a chatting space that is guided by a young Imam. He was very open, so I asked him: ‘If I go to a hairdresser and I find some hair on the floor that belonged to a Muslim girl; would it be a sin if a man sees the hair? And then he said ‘No it wouldn’t, because no-one can see who the woman is.’ Then I asked him if it would be OK to take a photo in which I don’t reveal any of the skin or any of the characteristics of the woman. And he said that it’s impossible to do that, but it would be OK. So I copy-pasted what he said in a document and showed it to all these girls I asked.”

By photographing the women from behind, against the white background, which stands as a symbol of their purity, cleanliness and innocence, she separates the girl’s hair, making her anonymous and the action is no longer a sin.   In all her work Lina Hashim continues to confront her own inner concerns regarding Islam, using photography as a means of raising her own questions and concerns.

 

Peggy Sue Amison- East Wing Gallery

 

2014© Lina Hashim/ all right reserved.