The Green Hijab Movement was created by artists Gitte Sætre and Frans Jacobi in 2017. Consisting of a series of artistic interventions in small or larger public situations. The movement is a proposal for a new global movement and it deals with wicked problems.
Green Hijab Movement is a part of the couple Jacobi & Sætre own artistic practices, which are know for engaging with complex topics, in a poetic, critical and experiential way.
Our planets climate situation is an urgent global problem to be solved, and through Green Hijab Movements urgency it hopes to unite people. The project apposes structures that are linked to the entrenched powers of colonialism and institutionalized racism that separates people. Green Hijab Movement offer a model for dismantling and replacing destructive pattern of dividing people into groups.
Green Hijab Movement is a ‘detournement’, a deplacement, of one of the strongest symbols of our time. The hijab has two symbolic meanings: The original religious meaning – the hijab is a protective symbol, a protection against various external forces; the sexualized gaze of men, the unholy proceedings of everyday life. The second symbolic meaning is a negation of the first; here, in contemporary Europe the hijab is a negative political symbol, signifying oppression of women, the lack of individual rights for women on a global scale. This second symbolic meaning occurs as a hijack of the original symbol by an unholy coalition of right-wing politics and feminist solidarity.
These two symbolic values are opposed and monumentally stable. They divide the public opinion in two uncompromisable opposed agendas. It’s a black and white division; either you are for one of these versions or you are for the other. Indifference seems impossible. If you don’t choose side you are supporting the fundamentalist islamic version.
The Green Hijab Movement proposes a detournement of this deadlock. By appropriating the hijab for a different purpose - by postulating a new, different symbolic meaning of this simple piece of textile - we attempt break the established opposition of symbolic values. In our movement wearing the green hijab symbolizes global solidarity with the victims of climate change AND an engagement in the struggle to change our societies in the face of climate change. Pollution knows no borders and the effects of climate change hits hard, far away from where the climate crisis is produced. Climate change especially affects women of the global south, the same women that to a large degree are wearing the hijab.
Gillian Calson has written a text about Green Hijab Movement and you can read here
The journalist Kristine Kjeldalen wrote an articel you can read here
In its first two months of existence we have produced:
A workshop at the Hardanger Peace Academy in Norway.
A 3-part contribution to Nørrekær Bienalen, in the northwestern part of Denmark.
(a meditation, a public speech and a flag)
A DJ-session at KODE Art Museum in Bergen, Norway
A 20x20 contribution to PechaKuchaNight: Freedom at the Corner Theatre in Bergen
A contemplative reflection on the 2017 UCI World Biking Championsships in Bergen.
Plus an improvised series of staged photography and short format video-clips
A club night during the Climate Festival, January 2018
The Green Hijab Movement is a proposal for a new global movement; it is slowly gathering momentum and each of these events have engaged new participants. Of course, it is very, very far from being a real political movement – but it is to be understood as a potential possibility. Or as the artist Liam Gillick has termed a series of works: A ‘what if situation’.