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Everywoman
Art, Women, Politics
From Iran to Greenland, the women expressing themselves through their art.
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2008 12:41 GMT

The book became an instant bestseller but critics say it panders to a stereotypical view of Iranian women
Reading Lolita in Tehran - The Myth

Five years ago an Iranian professor, Azar Nafisi, wrote about a secret book club she set up with other women to discuss forbidden Western literature.

Titled Reading Lolita in Tehran, her memoirs were an instant bestseller, translated into 32 languages and hailed as a true insight into the oppressed lives of women after the Islamic Revolution.

But now critics are questioning that view. Academics say Nafisi's book is a damaging representation of Iran and its people - propoganda which panders to a stereotypical view of women there. Everywoman goes in search of the real story.

Jail Bird Sings

At the Good Shepherd jail in Colombia, thousands of women are held for crimes ranging from drug trafficking to violence.

One inmate is Hashima, a Malaysian convicted for trying to smuggle cocaine. Inside the prison walls, Hashima has made a name for herself as a singer.

Everywoman has exclusive footage of a day in the life of this jail-bird.
 
Manga, British Libyan style

Cartoons and comic strips have often been used by artists as a way to make political points.

They can inflame, like the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed in a Danish newspaper, as well as amuse.

They can also promote understanding, and that is what one Libyan artist hopes to do.

Asia Alfasi draws a comic strip infleunced by Japanese manga cartoons, aimed at reconciling different cultures.

Born in Libya and brought up in Scotland, Asia is currently working on her autobiography. Everywoman went to meet her.

Kimmernaq

Kimmernaq's songs highlight the plight of
Greenlanders
Another young woman who is using her art for political ends is Kimmernaq.

A star in her native Greenland and in Denmark where she now lives, her songs highlight the plight of Greenlanders, who many feel are discriminated against by the Danes who rule over them.

In the 1970s, artists in Greenland came up with a genre of music called "settlement rock" - music which celebrated Inuit culture and identity.

Many believe it was this music which galvanised the island into demanding autonomy, and self government. Now, decades later, Kimmernaq is taking up the fight.

Watch part one of this episode of Everywoman

Watch part two of this episode of Everywoman

This episode of Everywoman aired from June 13, 2008

If you have any comments, do email us at everywoman@aljazeera.net 

Source:
Al Jazeera
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