The Secret World of Saudi Women
A great photo essay from this week’s Newsweek International.
Photographer Olivia Arthur took on the job of seeing behind the barriers. During three visits lasting a month at a time, Arthur talked, laughed, and lived with Saudi women. She encountered hundreds of women and girls whose lively, outgoing personalities debunked the funereal stereotype of the black abaya. Jeddah Diary, a revealing collection of the pictures Arthur shot inside the kingdom, is available from its London publisher, Fishbar.
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What is the fascination with folks wanting to “unveil” the Arab and/or Muslim woman? Not in the physical sense of removing their veils, but I mean the amount of curiosity that surrounds them is just astounding. And when an outsider gets an “insider’s look,” it’s like a major achievement or something. Then, when it becomes clear that they’re human, it’s turned into a headline.
Can mainstream media find a new fetish?
And note how the “unveiled” women invariably belong to a certain sociopolitical status