Keeping you informed about Palestinian cultural heritage research, and our work here at the Archive

Keeping you informed about Palestinian cultural heritage research, and our work here at the Archive

Friday, July 13, 2007

SBS audio interview with Archive director Jeni Allenby

(Jeni presenting her paper in 2005)

Our director has presented papers at both "Transformations: culture and the environment in human development" conferences at the Australian National University. In 2005 her paper was titled "Traditional Cultural Heritage in the Australian Palestinian community: a case study in (multi) cultural isolation". At the most recent "Transformations" (27-29 Nov 2006), she presented paper based on another area of Archive research: "Religion is Not the Only Label they Wear": Cultural Responses to Wearing Hijab in Post 9/11 Australia".

Her abstract on the "Transformations" website reads:

"Life has become increasingly difficult for Muslim women in Western countries, who must face post 9/11 hostility to Islam as well as discrimination derived from the West's confusion of religion with cultural practices. 
"With Islamic dress codes constantly misunderstood, frustrated Western hijab wearers find themselves stressing that they are NOT in need of rescue, nor wearing "traditional costume" and that their right to wear hijab should be recognised and respected. The dangers inherent in this misunderstanding can be seen in increasing European / Asian government interventions banning hijab in schools, and closer to home, amongst other examples, in the 2002 call to ban hijab in Australian public places "because it could be used by terrorists to conceal weapons and explosives" (The Age 4 Dec 02).

"This paper explores how hijab wearers have responded to post 9/11 issues, with a particular focus on cultural / educational projects in Australia that encourage cross cultural discourse. These include the evocative Australians Against Racism 2004 billboard campaign "Religion is not the only label they wear", the Palestine Costume Archive's exhibition "Everything you wanted to know about hijab but were afraid to ask", Randa Abdel Fattah's young adults books set in the Arab Australian community, and Melbourne's "My dress, my image, my choice" fashion parade (which received a Living in Harmony grant for "bringing together Muslim and non Muslim women" and featured on ABC's Compass).

"These projects not only challenge Western negative stereotypes but provide a unique platform for the voices and experiences of contemporary Muslim women in Australia"
During the conference Jeni caught up with Peggy Giakoumelos from Australia's multicultural broadcaster SBS' program "World View" who asked her for a few words about the Archive and the state of Palestinian heritage, which was broadcast on 8 December 2006. SBS' website now contains that audio interview:
"When the media refers to life in the Palestinian territories, it's usually about conflicts occurring in the region. The culture of the Palestinian people is often ignored by the media. Jeni Allenby is the director of the Palestine Costume Archive, a museum that not only showcases traditional Palestinian dress, but costumes from across the Middle East. She spoke to Peggy Giakoumelos at the 2006 Transformations Conference in Canberra"

High Speed MP3

(if you have problems accessing this try via the SBS website)

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