Benin Vodou Festival 2024
January 15, 2023
Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park
July 20, 2023

Halimatu Iddrisu is a Ghanaian artist who uses her childhood as a reflection of her paintings focusing on Islamic identities and challenging social perceptions of how the female body maybe portrayed. I visited her solo exhibition Shrouded Mysteries – The New Norms presented by Nubuke Foundation in Accra.  (November 11th 2023 – March 16th 2024).

She encapsulates the transformation of traditional dressing to ‘the new norm’ regarding the fashion, identity, and spirituality of young Islamic females. Invites the audience into her world through paintings, poems, fabric, sketches and audio transmission. This artwork is presented using calligraphy, henna patterns, images of female body on materials such as cloth, paper, headscarf, scuba and lace.

Thoughts
I have never known the reason why Islam women cover their bodies and wear Hijab.  The Holy Quran does not, mandate wearing of hijab or headgear for Muslim women, although highly encouraged in Islam. It states women are asked not to display their adornments of beauty – except functional ie hands, face.
It is mandatory that when a woman paints her hands and feet with Henna that it should be covered or only shown to close family members. But Muslim women in Ghanaian communities are showing hands and feet as an expression of freedom.

Expression of beauty has evolved through fashion style – but still respecting their religious norms which showcases through this exhibition which embraces young females who are breaking out of conservative traditional norms.

 


bless Sister E

 

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