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Trends Towards Piety

Trends Towards Piety is an exploration into discursive artifacts that situate multiple perspectives of hijab-wearing Muslimah (Muslim woman). Based on personal experience, the stories told are implemented through use of new media technology. 'Cergam Muslimah' consists of three AR Zines, while 'Aisha' is a personal game that follows the story of a hijabi player character.

A large part of the research investigates the phenomena of the ‘Hijabers’, a group of young, urban Indonesian religious influencers, who reinforce an idealized image of a modern Indonesian Muslimah within the space they occupy on Instagram. This research outlines the layers of Islamic morals of virtue in pious commodity asserted through their curated performance of middle-class lifestyle. The image posts have thus contributed in establishing a dominant perception of hijab-wearing Muslim women within Indonesian popular culture.

Trends Towards Piety proposes alternatives to self-representational practice by introducing themes, insights methods that are largely invisible for Muslim women in Indonesian and Western popular culture. With intentions to critique Orientalism, the discursive nature of these artifacts reflect possibilities in furthering the creative expression of identity beyond its current presence on Instagram. At its core, this project challenges and negotiates mainstream perceptions of liberation for Muslimah.

In forming threads of representation away from the hijaber persona's dominant presence on Instagram, I propose that we begin to understand, challenge and further what religious influencers value as creative identity representation. Given that social media does provide these affordances and instantly presents feedback through the form of likes and comments, it has also limited the scope of the self to another singular identifier. 

It should be noted that although the Instagram feed can regulate different dimensions of identity in every post, the pursuit of perfection has hindered other conversations that are not transparent to Indonesian Muslimah. There is still a scarce sense of nurture in the progress that comes in that journey, one that welcomes and presents diversity in embracing the self as a Muslim woman that continues to become.

The project employs discursive design as a methodology to prompt more nuanced sense-making of identity in theorizing with María Lugones’ la callejera (the Streetwalker). 

"Strategically, la callejera begins to hear the power of the logic of univocity and the multiplicity drowned by univocal contestations. She devises the tactical/strategic practice of hearing interactive contestatory acts of sense making as negotiated from within a complex interrelation of differences. She hears contestations that are univocal as at the same time defiant of and compliant with the logic and systems of domination."

– María Lugones, CHAPTER TEN in Pilgrimages/Peregrinajes : Theorizing Coalition Against Multiple Oppressions.

Project Pages

Read the AR Zines and Play the game (hosted on Scratch) below!

The AR Zines have been converted to be read on web (the real artifact is a printed and placed within the 8-page zine format.) while the Scratch game can be played on desktop/laptop devices.

This project is part of the OCADU Digital Futures 'cyberhaze' Online Graduate Thesis Exhibition, 2020. 
More projects are on view at dfthesis.com

© Carisa Antariksa 2020