Canadian university student and activist Alia Youssef teamed up with Muslim Girl last year and flooded the image-sharing platform Getty Images with photographs that represented Muslim women and girls in a positive (and realistic) manner, with the clear goal of negating the stereotypical images that are often found of Muslim women online. Ms. Youssef’s most recent venture, The Sisters Project, takes the spirit of this activist campaign. The new project consists of photographs of 85 Muslim women, taken all across Canada. The women vary in age and occupation — from scientist to football coach to lawyer to police officer to high school student.
Ms. Youssef began the series as part of her thesis project for her BFA in Photography at Ryerson University, and says a lack of representation of Muslim women greatly affected her as a child. “I grew up being ashamed of my identity, my background and my religion, all because of the connotations that came with it,” Ms. Youssef pens in an artist statement. “These representations depict a voiceless, oppressed, demure, helpless woman who is a victim to her patriarchal religion. This image always portrays a sad-looking veiled woman who is deemed in need of ‘saving.'”
Canadian paper CBC remarks that The Sisters Project offers a “significant step forward in influencing how Muslim women are seen in the media.”