Rotterdam Photo

Barbara Vandendriessche

Dropping the veil

I am a photographer of mainly staged portraits. “Dropping the veil” is a project I’ve been working on since last year. I noticed that in the city where I live, Laken/Brussels, many women walk around with black, brown, or gray headscarves. Often a very beautiful face is hidden underneath. That makes me curious. I don’t want to comment on wearing a headscarf; these are choices that women make within a complex context. It is not my aim to denounce this in a simplistic way. I am concerned with beauty and theatricality, but I am stimulated by what I see around me. 

I worked with velvet theatre curtains in vibrant colors and combined them with young women of different origins and made photos of them in a certain pose to tell something, in an abstract way, about women who throw of heir veil (not only seen from a religious or cultural background but as a sign of the strength of young women). In Iran, they dare to go far in their conviction to claim their freedom, even at the risk of being arrested. In Afghanistan, on the contrary, since last year, girls have lost their right to be free, to be a woman. “Dropping the veil” is an ode to those young women who let out a cry for help.

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Instagram: @barbaravdd

Rotterdam Photo

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