Stories about Muslim women are typically limited to one of two stereotypes: the victim, or the siren. This oversimplification dehumanizes the complex lives of individuals, and invents a vast separation between nonMuslim and Muslim women. It creates a sense of “us versus them” and relegates Muslim women to being “an OTHER” instead of just “another.”
“Just a Peek, Please?” -- a growing series of 30+ paintings by Ameena Khan -- expands the narrative by telling the stories of a collection of American Muslim women who have agreed to share their experiences anonymously. These stories range in sentiment and complexity from faithful to faithless, fearful to fearless, embraced to isolated.
Certain pieces are concealed using a scarf previously worn by the muse, carrying with it something of the woman’s identity and essence. In an act that is typically unacceptable or taboo, the viewer is required to lift the woman’s article of clothing to see the art underneath. This voyeuristic act creates the sense of a fleeting, intimate conversation between the viewer, muse, and artist.