'Princess Hijab' Graffitis Paris Metro

Arresting manipulation ignites debate
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 11, 2010 2:45 AM CST

(Newser) – While France was debating its burka ban, graffiti artist "Princess Hijab" continued her jolting work covering up women—and men—in Paris metro ads with painted veils. The mysterious artist covers faces and sometimes entire bodies in black. She has dodged easy classification in decidedly elusive interviews, and it's not entirely clear if she's attacking Muslim discrimination, Islam, hyper-consumerism, the sexualization of women across cultures—or all of it, and more. She refers to her work as "hijabization" or "niqab intervention." The princess-with-a-black-marker first made her mark in 2006 on an album poster, "veiling" popular French singer Diam's, who, ironically, has since converted to Islam.

Hijab's identity is unknown, and it's not clear if she's Muslim, or even if she is actually a she (the artist never reveals any skin in interviews or photos). "The veil has many hidden meanings, it can be as profane as it is sacred, consumerist and sanctimonious, from Arabic Gothicism to the condition of man," she tells the Guardian. "The interpretations are numerous, and it carries great symbolism on race, sexuality, and real and imagined geography." For more of the work, click here. (Read more Paris stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.