Yet women in the Muslim community are denied of the equal rights in various aspects of personal and social life, including in the mosque and in other public places. Among the very few Muslim artists who portray the status of Muslim women, Shirin Neshat through her works can be considered to play a major role since most of her creation clearly depicts the religious forces that shape the identity of Muslim women all throughout the world. The status of the women in the Islamic community is under increasing scrutiny (in the positive direction) today by both the progressive Muslims and the non-Muslim societies. At such point of time, Shirin Neshat’s depiction of the Islamic women, their collective strength and the persistence with regards to the misogyny and despotism has a considerable impact, and it also synchronizes with the views of the many sections of people regarding the empowerment and upliftment of the Muslim women. “For Neshat presents a picture more accurately representative of Iranian and Islamic diversity and dissent against state and religious despotism.” (Denson 2010). She was well known to the world through her Women of Allah creations which she produced between the years 1994-1998. The photographs of Muslim women in her Women of Allah series were very much proactive, mysterious and politically iconic unlike the traditional Muslim women. The images were photographed in such a way that some of the Muslim women were in chadors holding guns, some others covering their skin with the Persian script, etc. These pictures mainly depicted the persistence and the determination of the Iranian Muslim women who confronted the Sharia’s law, mainly with regards to the Hijab and also as a tool against the segregation of women from men in the mosques and other public places. Thus the overall perspective that can be understood from her Women of Allah series would that the Muslim women were made to wear the veil or the Chadors just to be discriminated from men in the mosques and in other public places. “Most importantly, she does not, however, apply any moral stance to hijab. She allows the viewers to reach their own conclusions and, by doing so, she indicates the constructed nature of identity so often utilized by various media and politicians.” (Machowski). Thus she interjects her work by revealing the concept that the traditional Muslim people consider the Hijab as the protection to the Muslim women from the external world, unlike in the modern trend where it is viewed as medieval and severe. . In her photographs, Neshat analyses the different sides of the women in the Muslim community and incorporates them in her works. Moreover it is obvious from her photographs, she resisted the stereotypical representation of Muslim women in the Islam community. She insisted the importance of women in a Muslim community in her artwork named A Mother, in which she portrayed the image of mother with a son where she revealed the concept of woman being the mother of entire nation. From the above analysis, it is clear that she portrays the fact that every Muslim woman is an integral part of the entire Islam community where they need to be recognized in legal, political and social aspects. Thus Shirin Neshat believed that without the effective outcome and efficient
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Shirin Neshat's Photography.
Shirin Neshat is a visual artist from Iran residing in New York City. She is a well known artist who portrays the status of Muslim women in most of her film, video and photographs. …
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