Cherchez la femme

Guided Tour for Adults

The tour of the exhibition Cherchez la femme: Wig, Burqa, Wimple traces the roots of various dress codes for women, explains how religions have adopted them, and considers how women and girls can successfully navigate the tension between tradition and social inclusion.

Past exhibition
Where

Old Building, ground level, "Meeting Point" in the foyer


Lindenstraße 9–14, 10969 Berlin

The male-centric gaze on the female body has repeatedly been at the center of public debates, such as the dispute over burkini bans on French beaches in the summer of 2016. Such controversies invite us to question how secular societies should treat religious and traditional ways of dress.

The roots of such dress codes, which were allegedly for the preservation of female decency but in fact served to restrain male desire, lie in the ancient Middle East. Even before the emergence of the Abrahamic religions, women’s dress was determined by their status. These rules, created by men, were adopted by all three religions and given religious interpretations; in some branches of Judaism and Islam, they still apply today. Many cultures consider a woman’s hair too intimate to be displayed in public to men outside the family. This perspective still guides how some Muslim and Jewish women dress—in a variety of styles, with a variety of motivations.

Through fabric, photographs, and digital media, the Cherchez la femme exhibition documents contemporary practices of religious attire and the everyday conflicts they pose for women.

Life-sized sculpture of a figure with dark, floor-length hair

Chelgis, a sculpture by Mandana Moghaddam, 2002; courtesy of the artist, photo: Hossein Sehatlu

Where

Old Building, ground level, "Meeting Point" in the foyer


Lindenstraße 9–14, 10969 Berlin

More Information

  • When

    31 March – 2 July 2017, by appointment

  • Duration

    1 hour

  • Where

    Old Building, ground level, "Meeting Point" in the foyer

    
Lindenstraße 9–14, 10969 Berlin

  • Entry fee

    60 euros (plus admission fee; one chaperon free of charge)

  • Information and Reservation

    Education Department
    phone: +49 (0)30 259 93 305
    fax: +49 (0)30 259 93 412
    groups@jmberlin.de

  • Please note

    We can facilitate two groups in parallel.

  • Apparel and Fashion Vocational School

    Fashion students from OSZ Bekleidung und Mode, located on nearby Kochstrasse, are exhibiting their modesty-themed models at W. M. Blumenthal Academy, across the street from the museum.

Events Accompanying the Exhibition (4) Cherchez la femme Show all

Cherchez la femme

Events for adults and kids related to the exhibition theme.

Religion. Fashion. Empowerment.

29 June 2017
Talk and Panel Discussion: Reina Lewis, Professor of Cultural Studies at the London College of Fashion, takes a critical look at the relationship between religiosity and fashion.

The Dress of the Unfaithful Wife

9 May 2017
Artist Andi LaVine Arnovitz and Amy K. Milligan, Professor for Jewish Studies and Women's Studies at the Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, will speak about women and sexuality in Judaism.

Guided Tour for Adults

31 March – 2 July 2017, by appointment
Guided tour and discussion for adults about women’s dress codes—between tradition and social inclusion

Guided Tour for High-School Students Aged 14 and Older

31 March – 27 August 2017, by appointment
Guided tour and discussion about women’s dress codes—between tradition and social inclusion