Who’s Afraid was a one day happening/intervention/performance in Birmingham City Centre in 2008. It coincided with a time of discussions around banning the Hijab in France. As an artist of Iranian descent, having studied the historical rise and fall of the Hijab in Iranian history, as well as the wider political and cultural powers of this significant cloth, I felt propelled to infiltrate the public’s perception and imagination once more. This time I made a Pink Chador to fit over a pair of stilts. I took the streets and walked as though I was a figment of imagination, a dream, something unreal. Towering over Birmingham’s passers by, looking into the distant and at the tops of buildings, as if preparing to fly. This significant walk brought amount much attention. Under the title of Who’s Afraid (Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf), the public responded in several ways: taking pictures, as if confronted by an entertaining clown, mirroring the often over dramatised depictions of the hijab in the media, where it almost borders on entertainment, whilst others pretended that I didn’t exist. This timely and thought provoking performance lead to working on the Heard and Not Seen Project later on.


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