Boudoir : covered women in Iranian society (1979- present)

Fatehrad, Azadeh (2017) Boudoir : covered women in Iranian society (1979- present). In: The Space Between : Psyche, Body, Skin, Environment; 03 Feb 2017, London, U.K.. (Unpublished)


Taking Çagla Hadimioglu’s concept of the ‘tent’ (‘chadir’ in Turkish), the word that the Persian ‘chador’ is derived from, this paper refers to the ‘mobile home’ around a woman’s body that facilitates her movement around the city and dealings with men. It explores a similar notion to the ‘boudoir’ in French, which Gen Doy notes is a woman’s own space that is safe and embracing and that keeps her away and protected from others. Boudoir: the covered women in Iranian society (1979- present) describes the Islamic conceptualisation of space that is essentially moral and divided into two categories: ‘mahrem’ and ‘namahrem’. It also refers to Henri Lefebvre’s ‘moment of the production of space’ to describe a similar creation of space. Following this line of thinking, this paper concludes that the chador (veil) can be said to be a space that is produced, a space that is lived in by the woman wearing it; at the same time, while the woman is moving around in this private territory and interacting with others, her space is also being perceived and interpreted by others. On the other hand, Boudoir: the covered women in Iranian society (1979- present) refers to the unbuilt house that Adolf Loos designed in 1928 for Josephine Baker that actuates an unusual system of looking that evokes aspects of this particular gaze upon the covered woman in Iranian society. The water and glass in Loos’ house, just like the veil, function to abstract the view from direct and sustained looking. In Iranian society, women cannot hide from, nor can they return a gaze, which is paradoxically omnipresent and unseen, invisible as in Josephine Baker's house

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