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Fatema Mernissi






The Harem Within. Fear of the Difference

Since the late 1980's Fatema Mernissi and the German-American artist Ruth V. Ward have cooperated in several major visual/verbal projects. Feminism and the literary and artistic exploration of a woman's status and identity was their early connection and springboard that led to the exhibitions which have been shown extensively in Europe and the United States.

Child in a Harem
As a child in a Harem, I instinctively knew that to live is to open closed doors. To live is to look outside. To live is to step out. Life is trespassing.
Feather Women
The tale of the woman who had a feather dress changed my life. I discovered that I could fly if I raise my head, fixed upon the sky, and concentrate: "You have to start with some serious problem to develop wings." Aunt Habiba was pretty clear about the conditions.
Harem
The Harem principle is to use space and architecture to negate the difference: Women in. Men out. Each one keep to his space. Chaos (fitna) sets in when both meet and share the same space. Order is the barrier.


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