Salima Al-Ismaili

Shadows of Devotion

Shadows of Devotion is a look into the blurred lines of women’s gender roles as leaders in Islam. The exhibit includes a documentary photography series Nests of the Nu Ahong that journeys into nusi (women-only mosques) in China’s Henan province. The images work to capture the prayer and community of the elderly women that are served by nusi along with their women leaders known as nu ahong. Nests of the Nu Ahong is presented with an installation piece “من وراء  حجاب: From Behind a Veil” and a video performance “prayers”. Both pieces are personal explorations into women’s feminine spirituality. 

“من وراء  حجاب: From Behind a Veil” speaks to the barriers and layers that Muslim women transcend in order to reach spiritual autonomy.

“prayers” explores ways that women share spiritual memory across generations through the performance of prayer gestures.