911 ▬ Black Burqa Project

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KARACHI – As opposed to the conventional artist’s talk, Mansoora Hassan’s dialogue project is a collective art experience. Her photographs, videos and mixed media pieces serve as sparks for organic debate, discussion and growth. Breaking the barrier between the artist and the audience helps to promote the understanding of various cultures and societies, which by and large are still largely misunderstood or represented inaccurately in the media.
The dialogue project strives to use art as a point of departure to discuss the subtleties and contradictions of today’s social, political, economic and environmental climate. The artist examines the intersection between culture, history, gender and perception through her work. Under this project, the ‘Black Burqa Project’ titled ‘911’ comprises large-scale photographs and video works that deal with the aftermath of September 11. The artist, who is a modern Muslim woman, wishes to address stereotypes about Muslims through this project.
Hassan is photographed wearing a burqa in front of American monuments in Washington DC and New York, such as the Capitol, the Lincoln Memorial and Ground Zero. The burqa is best recognised today as a symbol of being Muslim. The idea of power, represented by the monuments, is rendered unstable with the presence of the veiled female form as a marker of ‘truth’, ‘fear’ and the fluidity of trans-national identities.
Photos courtesy Mansoora Hassan