A Canadian Muslim art student has sparked controversy with a piece of homework – a photograph depicting her veiled Muslim friend holding up a freshly laundered bra
The 24 year old Sooraya Graham presented the piece of work in an attempt to ‘humanise’ the image of a veiled woman, showing a universal commonality in the form of underwear. But a fellow Muslim classmate took immediate offence and tore the photograph from the wall.
Graham has spoken out against this act of vandalism, saying ‘I found it really intrusive. There are things I encounter in the world I don’t like or I don’t agree with, but I would never take something down.’
‘Even though some people want to silence those thoughts or make them go away, we live in Canada where as long as we’re not hurting another individual we have that right to express ourselves,’ she argued.
But the perpetrator of the vandalism claims that she was operating on behalf of those Muslims in the college who find the image offensive. And, once the protest went public, an Canadian education centre sponsored by the Saudi Arabian Embassy has condemned the photograph. The student in question detained the photograph and held it hostage until university administrators agreed that it would not be placed back in public view. No such agreement was reached and the photograph has now been returned.
Follow ArtLyst on Twitter for breaking art news and latest exhibition reviews