Journal for Peace and Justice Studies

Volume 19, Issue 1, 2009

Coalitions Across Difference

Penelope Ingram
Pages 50-65

Veiled Resistance
Algerian Women And The Resignification Of Patriarchal And Colonial Discourses Of Embodiment

“Veiled Resistance” explores the relationship between discourse and power through the figure of the veiled woman. Ingram argues that while veiled women historically have been produced as Other in Orientalist discourse, they also have subverted these dominant representations by manipulating the significations of the veil. Using the example of veiling practices employed by Algerian women during the Algerian Revolution (1954-1962), as well as the recent actions of Muslim women in Europe who are choosing to defy the law by veiling and, in some cases, re-veiling themselves after a long period without doing so, Ingram examines the veil as a counter-discursive object. While religious, patriarchal, and colonial ideologies attempt to exploit, albeit in different ways, the women’s actions vis-à-vis the veil, these women can be seen to renegotiate the limits of representation through a conscious manipulation of the discourse that has attempted to discipline them and create new possibilities of embodiment.