In this article, I discuss the main arguments that deal with mainstream media representations of niqabis in the West. In distinguishing between such representations of niqabis and their self-representations distributed online on photo-sharing sites, it is my purpose to highlight the entirely different visual rhetoric that emerges from the latter by pointing to various aspects of the self-portraits. After giving an overview of the literature that discusses the niqab, and indicating that niqabis' voices have been entirely neglected, I analyze several self-portraits of two niqabis located online in reference to a theoretical framework offered by Kati Caetano who has traced established ways of representing Muslim women in journalistic photography. Finally, I argue that niqabis disrupt the normalized associations of the niqab with passivity, otherness, and violence by establishing intimacy with the audience.
- Muslim women