Have you heard about Princess Hijab?
I had heard about her before my trip, but unfortunately I never got to see any of her work in the Parisienne metro stations. Given my love affair with street art, I was pretty disappointed.
Princess Hajib is the elusive, guerilla artist who paints Muslim veils on posters and billboards in the Paris metro. She started over 6 years ago and is recognized as the founder of hijabism. The anonymous artist dons a costume, paints only at night and has gained recent fame since the French Senate approved a ban on burqa’s in 2010. The artist says that art is not a religious statement, it’s simply art.
The deserted metro is a pretty eerie place and if I bumped into her at night in this get-up, I’d have a complete freak out. I’d run off to some corner, curl up in the foetal position and just weep. I’ve seen horror movies and frankly this seems like the start of a good script. Jokes aside, her work is incredibly thought-provoking. Traditionally a burqua is meant to veil and hide it’s wearer, yet instead of hiding her subject, she really makes them the focal point of passersby.