Monday, February 2, 2015

Violent Threats Force Removal of Zoulikha Bouabdellah's Prayer Rug Installation

By Coline Milliard
Zoulikha Bouabdellah, Silence (2008-2014) Courtesy: the artist © Zoulikha Bouabdellah
FRANCE---Days after the world stood up in support of freedom of speech following the Charlie Hebdo massacre, artist Zoulikha Bouabdellah was coerced into self-censorship for a piece featuring prayer rugs and high heels. Bouabdellah, who was born in Moscow and grew up in Algeria, was due to exhibit her installation "Silence" (2008) at a recently-opened show "Femina ou la Réappropriation des modèles" at the Pavillon Vendôme in Clichy, a suburb north of Paris. But the day before the opening on January 24, she was told by one of the show's co-curators, Christine Ollier, that the town hall had been in touch saying that a group “representing Muslims in Clichy had alerted the authorities to the possibility of a violent reaction provoked by the presence of the piece in the show." [link]