Depictions of Silent Struggle in Nermine Hammam's series, "Anachrony"

Nermine Hammam’s series "Anachrony," exhibited in 2010, are striking images created by Hammam and her daughter and artist Karima Mansour. While these images are often interpreted as commentary on the veil in Muslim culture, in actuality they are a reflection of Hammam’s experience after visiting a mental asylum in Egypt. These unvalidated connections to the veil made by Western viewers begs several questions: What are the conditions for a female Muslim artist in contemporary society? Does the debate surrounding the veil replace the artist’s intention of expressing opinions about an unrelated issue, like the conditions of mental facilities in Egypt? What is the correlation between artwork and the contemporary social/political/cultural issues of the era in which it was produced? Can female Muslim artists escape the stereotypical association with the veil or is this a phenomenon that arises out of cultural misunderstanding and lack of historical/contextual knowledge by Westerners?

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