How does freedom dress? "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). In the last few decades, several critiques of this dichotomy have entered academic discourses, challenging the homogeneous portrayal of veiled women, and the assumed mutual exclusivity of veiling and empowerment. Although we engage with critical discourses in academia, we still see an urgent need to translate such critiques into a medium that is accessible to a wider audience.
c l o t h
"How does freedom dress? "
Directors: Ania Catherine and Samira Mahboub
Director of Photography: Jacqui J Sze
Editor: Jacqui J Sze
Performance Artists: Ania Catherine and Samira Mahboub
Production & Set Assistant: Eman al-Maadeed
Music: "Easy Muffin" by Amon Tobin
SAMANIA (Samira Mahboub + Ania Catherine)
Theory. Practice. Performance.
As gender scholars at London School of Economics sharing a background in performance, directors Samira Mahboub and Ania Catherine envisioned film as a medium through which they could carry a subject explored in academia to a new audience via performance. cloth is the result. Coming from diverse origins (Samira being Muslim with German/Moroccan heritage and Ania being non-religious and Hispanic-American), SAMANIA is committed to channeling their performance experience into projects that not only stimulate critical reflection, but also encompass a meaningful combination of art, academia, and politics.