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The gift which raises my spiritual awareness, protects my physical body and inspires my mind, heart & soul

simultaneously.
- Leila Fatemi

Hijab
The series Hijab is a exploration of the veil worn globally by Muslim women. In this series I chose to include women living in the West (Canada) as their relationship and experiences with the Hijab is different to women living in the East, especially post-9/11. I chose to embark on this series from a personal need for self discovery. I knew that I for myself, Hijab was more than just a routine yet I was striving to identify what it is that makes it so special to me. Through my work on this series I began to meet many different women with different perspectives and different walks of life, each one bringing individuality to their hijab. Upon meeting these women I began to feel inspired and the project became a celebration of hijab and the diversity within it. The way I chose to photograph this series was fairly simple. I wanted the audience to forget about who could have taken the photos, and instead focus on who the photograph is of, so that every detail would be absorbed. I chose a consistent white background so each woman stands out. Yet the consistency and uniformity of all of the photographs is where the series is most powerful. I captured each photograph via large format (4x5) in order to achieve the sharpest most detailed photograph possible. The women I photographed were from a largely diverse selection, to reiterate the diversity of hijab, not only in the way it is worn, but in the women who wear it. Each woman has their own take on Hijab. Whether it be the way they wear it, how they encorporate it in to their every day life, or what it means to them. But one thing is consistent, its not always easy. I wouldnt call it a struggle, as it is a beautiful choice embraced and appreciated by many, but like anything that is different to the norm, occassional feelings of rejections and encounters with ignorant people are a given. Yet regardless, it takes strength to leave the house daily declaring your beliefs and faith at once, and become the flagbarrer of that religion. This project serves many purposes, outside its core exploration. It is a statement about Hijab, and a homage to all the strong women to wear it.