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Invitation to the Press Event in the Exhibition Space on March 30

Cherchez la femme: Wig, Burqa, Wimple

Press Release, Tue 21 Mar 2017

Exhibition dates: March 31 to July 2, 2017

  • Origins of veils and head coverings in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
  • Aspects of religious head coverings: from tradition to religious feminism
  • Artistic works as a reflection of the current social debate
Contact and Press Accreditation

Press office
T +49 (0)30 259 93 419
F +49 (0)30 259 93 400


Jewish Museum Berlin
Lindenstraße 9–14
10969 Berlin

The religious requirement for women to cover themselves continues to be a subject of controversy in Europe, and burqas and Muslim headscarves are often viewed as signaling a lack of willingness to become integrated. When women wear striking religious clothing it is often considered a provocation and they face verbal attacks. "How much visible religiosity can and do secular societies tolerate?" is examined in the exhibition Cherchez la femme: Wig, Burqa, Wimple in the Jewish Museum Berlin.

The exhibition, covering more than 4300 sq. feet, begins with a video installation on the male gaze. At the center of the show is the sculpture Chelgis I, created by the Iranian-born artist Mandana Moghaddam. The long dark hair inspired by a Persian folktale symbolizes the strength of feminine beauty that can hardly be tamed, which has represented an existential threat for men since time immemorial. Cherchez la femme takes a look at the origins of veils and head coverings for women and their religious significance in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Different attitudes toward the covering of women's heads and bodies, from its ancient beginnings up to present-day practices, are displayed and the status of women between religion and self-determination is examined. Artistic works reflect on the relevance of traditional customs for the present. The exhibition's media installations let visitors hear a wide range of Jewish and Muslim women's voices – whether observing a strict Islam, treating religion as a private matter, or wearing a headscarf as a sign of cultural self-determination.

Invitation to the Press Event With Early Viewing of the Exhibition

Date Thursday, March 30, 2017
Accreditation and Early Viewing 10.30–11 am
Start of the Press Event 11 am
Guided Tour with the Curator following the event Libeskind Building, ground level, Eric F. Ross Gallery

Please allow enough time for the security check at the entrance.

Speakers at the Press Event

  • Cilly Kugelmann, program director, Jewish Museums Berlin
  • Miriam Goldmann, exhibition curator, Jewish Museum Berlin

Artists in the exhibition who will be attending the press event:

  • Mandana Moghaddam from Göteborg
  • Sigal Adelman from Israel


To assist our planning, please confirm your participation by email ( or telephone (+49 (0)30 25 993 419) by Tuesday, March 28, 2017, at the latest.
Please inquire in advance at the press office regarding interview requests.

Exhibition dates March 31 to July 2, 2017
Location Libeskind Building, ground level, Eric F. Ross Gallery
Admission with a ticket to the museum (8 euros, reduced rate 3 euros)

The accompanying program will be presented during the press event.

For further information on the exhibition, go to:

The 16th issue of the JMB Journal, titled Cherchez la femme, will appear for the exhibition. It can be purchased for 2 euros in the Jewish Museum Berlin.

Media Partners


Press Photos

Press photos for reporting, listing credits and in compliance with copyright details, are available for download here:

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