A veil is just a piece of cloth, but it often takes on enormous political and social implications that can fail to take the agency of the wearer into account.
"cloth," a video art piece by London School of Economics students in the Gender institute, seeks to start a conversation about empowerment and oppression by asking the question, "How does freedom dress?"
Directors Ania Catherine and Samira Mahboub told The Huffington Post:
"cloth" is a video art piece intended to start an inter/intracultural conversation about women, identity, restriction, agency, freedom, and (mis)perceptions thereof. There is a current dichotomy—in both academia and popular media—between the “empowered” and “liberated” Western woman, and the “oppressed” veiled woman, as the veil has become “to Western eyes” (Leila Ahmed—Women and Gender in Islam, 1992) a symbol of the oppression of women.
This is both a political and social problem as this dichotomy limits the possibility of a genuine understanding and dialogue about women, between women of different cultural backgrounds (Chandra Mohanty—Under Western Eyes, 1988).
Watch it above.