Style Watch

The head scarf chic of Toronto’s “hi­jabis­tas”

Toronto Life - - Contents - By sa­man­tha ed­wards

Sara Sham­savari has al­ways ad­mired women who wear the hi­jab. The Bri­tish-Ira­nian artist re­spects the fact that in the face of dis­crim­i­na­tion, they wear the veil proudly— and, some­times, with se­ri­ous flair, sport­ing bright colours and bold de­signs. “Of­ten when peo­ple see a woman in a hi­jab, they just see the hi­jab,” Sham­savari says, but she sees strength, beauty and creativ­ity. In 2010, Sham­savari be­gan pho­tograph­ing the women she calls “hi­jabis­tas” on the streets of Lon­don, where she lives, for her Veil se­ries. She con­tin­ued shoot­ing in New York, Paris, Philadel­phia, Dubai and Toronto, and ex­hib­ited se­lec­tions from the se­ries in Lon­don last fall. “Whether it’s con­scious or un­con­scious, th­ese women are re­belling against a very nar­row­minded im­age of who they are,” Sham­savari says. We asked four of Sham­savari’s Toronto sub­jects to re­flect on what wear­ing the hi­jab means to them.

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