Sunday, May 5, 2013

Happy in Head Covering: Photo Review

Click to read:
Secular Lens, Religious Vision | The Jewish Week
"Italian photographer’s view of religious women upended by project", by Chavie Lieber.
A member of the Breslov sect dances at sunset near her home in Beit Meir, Israel. photo by F.  Valabrega

"Italian photographer Federica Valabrega always believed religious women were oppressed and unhappy," the article opens. But the Italian photographer decided to document her discoveries about oppressed religious women, in various places, in print, and wound up presenting a diverse collage of women, head covered and all, who were living free and happy lives. This short article relates her story, and a couple of pictures. From the story:

"Valabrega noted that she’s made great strides in understanding the way the different communities within religious Judaism interact. When she first started her project, she was not able to distinguish the different sects, and many of them looked the same to her. Now, she said, she’s able to distinguish members of different communities by their dress and their conduct, by their head coverings and their accents. She’s also come to learn that while the rest of the world believes these women are unhappy and subjugated, she finds them powerful, capable, and complacent — and often the pillars of their home."

See the artist's home page,, for more. Click to view her "portfolio" and choose the section "Daughters of the King". After reading her brief summary, click the photo to open the slide show and view her other photos added here at this time. I hope that Federica will return to the project to add more dialogue along with the photos in the slideshow, so that viewers can find the happiness of the women along with her.
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