August 4, 2011

Clipped Wings

This is a photograph of an installation called 'Suspended Together' by Saudi Arabian artist Manal Al Dowayan. This piece is a highly symbolic installation intended to make a point about the lives of Saudi Arabian women. It is described on her website as 'an installation that gives the impression of movement and freedom. However, a closer look at the 200 doves allows the viewer to realize that the doves are actually frozen and suspended with no hope of flight.
On the back of each dove is what is called a “mahram,” the signed letter of approval given by a husband so that his wife may be allowed to travel somewhere. Al Dowayan collected these mahrams from “a large group of leading women in Saudi Arabia.”  She writes that the installation carries the documents of award-winning scientists, educators, journalists, engineers, artists and leaders with groundbreaking achievements that gave back to their society. The youngest contributor is six months old and the oldest is 60 years old.
'Look beyond the veil' - Another of Manal's exhibitions

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