By Lindsey Moore
Given an extended historical past of illustration via others, what topics and methods do Arab Muslim ladies writers, filmmakers and visible artists foreground of their presentation of postcolonial adventure?
Lindsey Moore’s groundbreaking booklet demonstrates ways that ladies acceptable textual and visible modes of illustration, frequently in cross-fertilizing methods, in demanding situations to Orientalist/colonialist, nationalist, Islamist, and ‘multicultural’ paradigms. She presents an obtainable yet theoretically-informed research via foregrounding tropes of imaginative and prescient, visibility and voice; post-nationalist melancholia and mother/daughter narratives; adjustments of ‘homes and harems’; and border crossings in time, area, language, and media. In doing so, Moore strikes past notions of conversing or taking a look ‘back’ to surround a various feminist poetics and politics and to stress moral different types of illustration and reception.
Aran, Muslim, lady is specific within the eclectic physique of labor that it brings jointly. Discussing Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the Palestinian territories, and Tunisia, in addition to postcolonial Europe, Moore argues for higher integration of Arab Muslim contexts within the postcolonial canon. In a booklet for readers drawn to women's reports, background, literature, and visible media, we come across paintings via Assia Djebar, Mona Hatoum, Fatima Mernissi, Ahlam Mosteghanemi, Nawal el Saadawi, Leila Sebbar, Zineb Sedira, Ahdaf Soueif, Moufida Tlatli, Fadwa Tuqan, and lots of different ladies.
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Extra resources for Arab, Muslim, Woman: Voice and Vision in Postcolonial Literature and Film
Firdaus is also haunted by eyes belonging to her birth mother, ‘eyes that I watched . . eyes that watched me’ (16). She recalls seeking support from this woman who favoured her husband, then was replaced by another woman. The mother is also remembered as delegate of men’s control over women’s sexuality: she ‘brought a woman who was carrying a small knife or maybe a razor blade. They cut off a piece of flesh from between my thighs’ (13). Similarly, when the narrator of Memoirs of a Woman Doctor complains of a mother who ‘put chains on my arms and legs and round my neck every day’ (el Saadawi 1989a: 17), she refers both to the complicity of 20 Introduction mothers in perpetuating gendered inequalities in the home and to ways in which a daughter’s body is obliged to mirror that of her mother in its social construction.
It is difficult to see how Lott’s response is sympathetic, however, as she is highly critical of women and other members of the h . arîm, of standards of hygiene, and most particularly of ‘Arab food’. It is possible that part of her aim is to distance herself from Montagu whose ‘latitudinarian attitude towards sexual excesses’, Melman suggests, Victorian commentators tended to criticize (1992: 100). Melman argues that Victorian discourses produced codified representations of women’s physique, dress, etiquette, and eating habits.
Privileging respectability, harmony, hygiene, and transparency, dominant attitudes were both racialized and classed (1992: 102–3; see also Grewal 1996: 25–40). As women middle-class travellers increased in number in the second half of the nineteenth century, a range of responses towards Muslim domestic space appeared which, nevertheless, tended to share a set of underlying values. In some cases, the h . arîm was desensationalized, desexualized, and considered as a viable alternative space to the English (or French) bourgeois family home (Melman 1992: 99).
Arab, Muslim, Woman: Voice and Vision in Postcolonial Literature and Film by Lindsey Moore
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