This article identifies a gap in extant literature on women who wear the niqab and their representations in ‘traditional’ media: there are few academic sources that draw from these women’s own narratives. In order to address this gap, this article highlights niqabis’ self-representations in the form of photographic self-portraits published in new media and demonstrates a variety of positive ways in which these self-portraits are received by the audiences. The article is based on a case study of a profile of a prolific author who posts and discusses her work on a popular photo-sharing website. It throws light on contextualised and relational interpretations of the niqab and its meaning and at the same time challenges a common perception that non-Muslim audiences are uniformly critical of women who wear the niqab. Data analysis of the data so far indicates that women who wear the niqab exercise their agency by making visual references to the everyday and successfully establish dialogue and intimacy with their audiences. It is suggested that new media settings are particularly important in researching ‘niqab experiences’, as they foster a variety of relevant data types and narratives driven by participants, rather than researchers.
- Social networks