Fatima Siwaju lecture - "Black Muslim Women in the Colombian Pacific: Veiling, Visibility, and the Politics of (Un)belonging"
January 31, 2023 Tue 1/31, 1:00-2:30 Virtual
Fatima Siwaju email email@example.com for Zoom link
This presentation focuses on the experiences of veiling amongst Black Muslim women in the Colombian Pacific. I consider how the practice of veiling makes Muslim women hyper-visible, while oftentimes rendering them illegible in Colombian public space. My hijabi (veiled) interlocutors are frequently misread as foreigners and are regularly questioned about their nationality and their ability to speak Spanish. This presentation therefore analyzes their hijab (Islamic headscarf) as a vehicle of cultural, religious, and civic illegibility. I also examine the intersection of race, gender, and geopolitics as it pertains to the unique challenges faced by Black hijabi women within their local milieux. Finally, I explore their use of social media as a discursive space to assert their right to religious difference and to articulate a politics of belonging that incorporates their intersecting identities as Afro-Colombian Muslim women.