Much like the (in)famous Banksy of England, Princess Hijab is an anonymous Parisian street artist that has been “hijabizing” billboards with black spray paint and markers since 2006. She is about 21-22 years old and has been ruffling feathers of Muslims, seculars, feminists, and critics alike. This Parisian culture jammer is waging war on consumer culture and the over sexed ads that peddle everything from handbags to ice cream. There is something so visually powerful about her work that I just love.
She not only defaces the ad, but there are subtle and deliberate artistic strokes that take her work to another level. Take the ad with Megan Fox above. I love the understated outline that starts at the left shoulder and trails down to outline and embolden her hands. There’s also the more obvious playfulness with the drip on her lower lip that suggests Princess H is doing more than just forcing modesty onto these ads. Princess Hijab is pretty hard to track down on the net. I think this is her website, but I’m not totally sure, it could be a click farm. The best thing I’ve found is this interview from over a year ago on Menassat, an Arab news site.
During the interview Princess Hijab claims responsibility for the defacing of these advertisements as she attempts to make a stand at what she believes is the over sexualisation of advertising spaces. There is no question that ‘Princess’ has a point. Princess goes into great detail regarding the way that younger people are now exposed to these images which past generations were never exposed to. There is no question that there is a desperate need for companies to lessen the provocative nature of their advertisements in light of the fact that younger people are becoming more and more exposed to these types of advertisements. It should however come as no surprise whatsoever that the multinational companies which Princess is campaigning against vigorously deny her accusations and state that they are simply following society’s desires. Several huge brands vehemently denied her claims by stating that allowing a woman to freely express herself through her body is one way this country leads the way in comparison to other countries around the world. We will not be silenced simply due to one ‘vigilante’ wannabe who is frankly barking up the wrong tree.
Fuel To Continue
Princess howled in laughter at this response and said if anything this will cause her to work harder than she did before. Princess stated that she has clearly unsettled these multinational firms for them to even provide a response like that and says that it has fuelled her to step up her actions and work even longer hours than she did before. Princess has stated that she will not be lessening her hours at her normal work and will continue to work through the night. Princess stated that she suffers from insomnia anyway so it irrelevant to her as even if she was lying in bed she would be unable to sleep anyway.