Eliza Vitri Handayani on Instagram: “Recently I had an opportunity to make art with UK artist Çağlar Kimyoncu, about “What Makes You You?” In the 2 days leading to the filming…”

 

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Recently I had an opportunity to make art with UK artist Çağlar Kimyoncu, about “What Makes You You?” In the 2 days leading to the filming session, two kids in two different occasions called me out for not covering myself, for exposing my body and my “aurat”. The first time, I passed a group of kids on the road and one shouted at me: “Miss, mind your aurat!” I stopped and turned to them, “Who said that?” No one came forward. So I told them that they didn’t even know me, how could they be sure that I believe what they believe, even if I was Muslim, many Muslims believe that it is not mandatory for women to cover their hair or whole body. Many argue that even according to the Quran it is not mandatory. “Please respect people’s differences and choices.” The kids nodded and I walked on. The other kid was my own nephew. “Aunty’s exposing her aurats,” he said cutely. I turned to him and said lovingly what I said above. His mother, my sister, however, asked me to refrain from exposing her kids to such teaching. “What kind of teaching? The kind that asks children to respect those who are different from them?” I asked. “Right now my nephew thinks I’m sinful and a bad woman, I can’t let him think that way. I just want to let him know that there are different interpretations regarding aurat and the hijab.” I didn’t even get an apology from my sister, only a demand to shut my mouth around her kids, as if blood makes it okay for her to silence my voice. That was a reason I was thankful to have had the chance to present myself just the way I’d like to for this art project at #FestivalBebasBatas #UKID. For so many years, like in the movie Mulan, my own reflection didn’t show I am inside. Now I can finally say I see myself when I look in the mirror, and I’m not going to let anything take that away from me. Thank you, @kakayunita for inviting me to a part of this art project. Thank you, Çağlar, Zeyno, @pamfletgenerasi, @BritishCouncilID for this experience. It taught me about how to be more inclusive, to always think about access for those who are disadvantaged or disabled in our society. #throwback #artandidentity #artistsoninstagram #whatmakesyouyou @whatmakesyouwho

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