Whilst reporting recently at a large social event, I came across photographer Danielle Regout. Energetic and charming we struck up a conversation and found living around the world was a common thread (Danielle was born in Latin America, lived in Canada and Poland before moving to the Netherlands where she lived until her recent move to the UK).
Under the banner of “Purpose and Passion in Action” we found another common ground as she had recently turned away from her job to follow her passion and turn a long standing hobby into her job and become a professional photographer.
Her intention here in this beautiful book, as she states in the foreword is ” to give the 31 young Muslim women featured, the opportunity to convey what inspires each of them individually to wear the hijbab”.
Personally I found it eye opening. We are so quick to generalise in our condemnation of the hijab as a degrading and restrictive custom, however here we witness with these photos of every day life, the pride and comfort these young women feel wearing it.
Each woman is portrayed by a few photos, some black and white, others colour, and a few lines where they explain what the Hijab means to them.
These modern, cosmopolitan women live in the Netherlands, the UK, Belgium and Canada.
They are proud and very attached to their hijab: as fashion statement, as belonging to a religion, community, and family; as way of instigating conversation, as identity, for confidence and to hide shyness, for pride, out of habit, as sign of elegance, effect and statement and as a way to ground themselves.
I found myself moved by their stories and their pictures. Well done Danielle on having taken a controversial theme and shown a less told aspect of it through the words and images of those wearing it.