Princess Hijab

Princess Hijab is a graffiti artist who’s been painting hijabs and burkas on ads throughout Paris. From the Guardian:

Princess (Hijab)winds through the corridors of Havre-Caumartin sizing up the advertising posters lining the walls. She has agreed to meet as she scours stations for targets for her next “niqab intervention”. In Spandex tights, shorts and a hoodie, with a long black wig totally obscuring her face, one thing is clear; the twentysomething doesn’t wear the niqab that has become her own signature. She won’t say if she’s a Muslim. In fact, it’s more than likely that Princess Hijab isn’t even a woman. There’s a low note in her laughter, a slight broadness to her shoulders. But the androgynous figure in black won’t confirm a gender. “The real identity behind Princess Hijab is of no importance,” says the husky voice behind the wig. “The imagined self has taken the foreground, and anyway it’s an artistic choice.”

“I started doing this when I was 17,” she says (I’ll stick to “she” as the character is female, even if the person behind it is perhaps not).

“I’d been working on veils, making Spandex outfits that enveloped bodies, more classic art than fashion. And I’d been drawing veiled women on skate-boards and other graphic pieces, when I felt I wanted to confront the outside world. I’d read Naomi Klein’s No Logo and it inspired me to risk intervening in public places, targeting advertising.”

The Princess’s first graffiti veil was in 2006, the “niqabisation” of the album poster of France’s most famous female rapper, Diam’s, who by strange coincidence has now converted to Islam herself. “It’s intriguing because she’s now wearing the veil,” the Princess muses. Intially she graffitied men, women and children and then would stand around to gauge the public’s response; now she does hit-and-runs. “I don’t care about people’s reactions. I can see this makes people feel awkward and ill at ease, I can understand that, you’re on your way home after a tough day and suddenly you’re confronted with this.”

Princess Hijab, Paris’ Elusive Graffiti Artist [Guardian]


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