October 5, 2012

Maghrebi Women in Art

The artistic depiction of Maghrebi women has been skewed, hijacked, misrepresented, bastardized, exoticized, and everything in between. Orientalist art conjured up scenes of harems, women in baths, lavish sitting areas--this artistic portrayal went beyond just illustrating the artists' imaginations, but it set a standard and fed into a narrative that defined women from the region in terms of their space. This space illustrated in Orientalist art sought to sexualize that women lived in and the space that they embodied. Even the practice of veiling, which has evolved in meaning and purpose throughout the centuries, was sexualized through the art. Below are some classic images of Orientalist art: