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International Veil Series: a celebration of Muslim women's hijabs

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Written by
Mariana Jaureguilorda Beltran
Published date
29 September 2021

Ahead of Sara Shamsavari's webinars: Photography and Identity, Art and Isolation and The Modest Fashion, we speak to her about her career and renowned International Veil Series.

Sara’s work explores themes of global identity, inclusion and transformation. Several of her photographic projects, centre around challenging stereotypes and common preconceived judgements based on labels including appearance, culture, religion and sexuality.

Her work has been exhibited internationally for over 20 years in museums and public spaces. Alongside her artistic practice, Sara lectures on art, photography, migration and identity at Central Saint Martins and London College of Fashion.

Woman wearing hijab.
Diversity, whether in ways of seeing, thinking, or being (including dress), can encourage a society to grow, evolve and become rich in ways beyond material wealth.

— Sara Shamsavari

Internation Veil Series

Sara Shamsavari's Veil series’ highlights young Muslim women across London Paris and New York and the individual expression of their identity as conveyed through their vibrant hijab styles.

Following the debut of London Veil at the Royal Festival Hall in 2013, the response from women across the globe inspired Sara to extend the series to include women in Paris and New York.

Neither a critic nor an advocate of the veil, the series exists to rather recognise and celebrate their participants as strong, vital individuals who manage to shine, despite the struggles of youth, womanhood and prejudice they may receive - especially at a time of division and conflict- as a result of the visibility of their faith.

Sara Shamsavari's street-style portraits capture young women in veils of a dizzying array of colours and fashions. The Iranian-born photographer was inspired to create the pictures, being exhibited to coincide with International Women's Day, to celebrate how the head coverings had led to an outpouring of creativity and originality in the way they are worn.

The Guardian

Sara Shamsavari is leading a series of webinars exploring the relationship between art and identity. If you are feeling inspired, explore more of Sara Shamsavari's career and work.

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