We Can Do It!

Image

This image is a spin-off of the famous World War II propaganda poster that was meant to boost worker morale during the time of the war. The original image has a feminist message and is hugely popular in the feminist campaign.

This new image, however, depicts a Saudi-Arabian woman adorned in a traditional hijab. There has been much support of feminists trying to gain women’s more rights for women in the middle-east, most notably and symbolically removing the hijab from covering the face.

This feminist action is perhaps a direct effect of globalization in that the major countries around the world have seen a huge improvement in women’s rights in the past few hundred years, and the middle-east is seeing more and more pressure to follow suit. Because a lot of middle-eastern culture is patriarchal and nomadic, it is much more difficult for women to take a stand for themselves. Images such as this one that simply suggest an image of a powerful woman are a huge step forward in middle-eastern countries.

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Three Girls, by Amrita Sher-Gil, 1935

Painted in 1935, Three Girls won the Gold Medal at the annual exhibition of the Bombay Art Society in 1937.

Painted in 1935, Three Girls won the Gold Medal at the annual exhibition of the Bombay Art Society in 1937.

Amrita Sher-Gil was an important female Indian artist in the 20th century whose work often depicts poor Indian villagers and women in reflection of their condition. Instead depicting the women as sensual creatures, Sher-Gil chooses to show the subjects in a state of meditation through the skillful use of facial expressions and tone.

I think it’s important to acknowledge that Sher-Gil chose subjects who were not wealthy or who wore elaborate costumes, but instead chose subjects who appear to be quite regular in social status. The bright colors Sher-Gil uses is juxtaposed with the deep contemplative expressions the subjects wear, creating a kind of richness in their state of thought. The image itself seems quiet and reflective, prompting the viewer to try and empathize with the women, rather than to see the women as objects of desire.