The Ladies in Red: Shepard Fairey’s Propangand-art

I must admit, when I first saw my brother and sister walk in with these t-shirts on, my first thought was, “Awesome! Where can I get one of those?”If you live in California, the graphic style should be all too familiar. Shepard Fairey’s stickers, stencils, and prints can be seen plastered on sidewalk newspaper stands, electrical boxes, billboards, and on the sides of trains all across Los Angeles and Orange County.It’s all a part of an experiment in phenomenology—an idea that attempts to … [Read more...]

Desert Romance: Exoticization and Interfaith Marriage

"I got married secretly in a mosque," says Elisabeth Elhazza. Her words are the title of an article in Tara, a Swedish women's magazine, which gives an account of Elisabeth’s marriage to "seven years younger Khairi Elhazza from Libya," how he proposed, and how "Elisabeth said yes without hesitation and stepped into what was, for her, an unfamiliar and strange culture." The image of Elisabeth and Khairi in Tara magazine. "‘Now I am one hundred percent Libyan,’ she says."The delicate phrasing of … [Read more...]

A Conversation with Elif Şafak

Turkish novelist Elif Şafak (pictured below) ties her diversity of experiences and her background into her storytelling. Writing in both Turkish and English, Şafak’s writing is rich with history: her last novel, The Bastard of Istanbul, received several glowing reviews. Her latest novel, The Forty Rules of Love, tells the tale of a discontent 40-year-old Jewish woman, weaving her story in with that of Rumi and his relationship with Shams of Tabriz, his spiritual mentor. I had the opportunity to a … [Read more...]

Kuwait’s “Arab Times” Apparently Amused by a Maid’s Rape

This was originally published at Migrant Rights.On April 10th, Kuwait’s Arab Times reported about the rape and kidnapping of an unnamed Indonesian maid by a police officer. This report is an appalling example of the regional papers’ disregard to migrant and women’s rights.Kuwaiti press in general (except for Ben Garcia, a staff reporter at the Kuwait Times) is quite insensitive in its reporting about human rights violations of migrant workers. For example, Kuwaiti papers very rarely report t … [Read more...]

Friday Links — April 23, 2010

A 16-year-old schoolgirl has been banned from classes in Spain after refusing to remove her headscarf at school.File this under "Duh": The Washington Post reports that Afghan women believe European countries' efforts to ban niqabs and burqas are appalling. European dress code link dump! The Associated Press, Bikya Masr, AFP, Al Jazeera, CNN, ThinkSpain, and The Gazette.The New York Times highlights Mashid Mohadjerin's photographs of Tajik women.Malaysia has dropped almost 30 spots in … [Read more...]

Cómo Orientalista: Telemundo’s El Clon, Part II

Yesterday, we introduced you to Telemundo’s El Clon, its premise, and two of its prominent female characters. Today, we’ll look at two more female characters, some of their male counterparts, and examine how the telenovela uses the Qur’an.Zoraida is the maid in Uncle Ali's house. She is responsible for protecting Latiffa and Jade, and in doing so she is consequently assigned the task of guarding Uncle Ali's honor. When Jade is suspected of losing her virginity, Ali severely reprimands Zoraida, … [Read more...]

Cómo Orientalista: Telemundo’s El Clon, Part I

Spanish soap operas (telenovelas) are just like any other serial dramas, with all the conventional characteristics: star -crossed lovers, dramatic music, a flair for the outrageous and a seemingly never-ending plot.This is exactly what can be expected from Telemundo's telenovela, El Clon (The Clone). A remake of a Brazilian soap opera that aired in 2001 and 2002 titled O Clone, this Spanish-language telenovela is targeted at the U.S.'s Spanish speaking market. However, what is unexpected is … [Read more...]