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Women Undercover: Exploring the Intersectional Identities of Muslim Women through Modest Fashion

Romana Mirza's research uses arts-based methods that present new ways of understanding women who choose to dress modestly
Category:Research Spotlight
By: The Catalyst at FCAD
February 22, 2019

Originating from her Major Research Paper (MRP) and now situated in the School of Fashion's Centre for Fashion Diversity and Social Change (FDSC), external link, Romana Mirza's research project explores the relationship between women, modesty, and their Western identities. The project also uses digital storytelling as a way to mobilize insights from the study and its participants. "This is the first digital storytelling workshop that was held by the Centre for Fashion Diversity and Social Change to support a Master's Research Project from the School of Fashion," says Dr. Ben Barry, Chair of the School of Fashion and Romana's MRP supervisor. "Romana conducted wardrobe interviews in the Fall of 2018 and those participants were invited to create their own multimedia narratives amplifying their voices and stories in a format that is easy to understand and share."

The inaugural Modest Fashion Digital Storytelling Workshop was held in The Catalyst at the FCAD on January 25-27, 2019.

With the assistance of staff at The Catalyst and CoLab, Romana hosted a weekend-long workshop at The Catalyst so that participants can create short films about their experiences with modest fashion. Romana says that The Catalyst was "the perfect space for this workshop" which spanned three days and over 18 solid hours of work.

"The staff at The Catalyst helped with determining and securing the exact technology and accessories that will be needed to complete our digital stories. This support was supplemented by CoLab when Hugh Elliott came on board to assist us over the weekend with guidance and support as our digital stories came together. Having CoLab and Hugh inside The Catalyst was a huge key to the success of this workshop."

Romana B. Mirza, MA Fashion Candidate

"Underneath This Hijab" - A short film created by research participant Hanan Hazime as part of Romana Mirza's Women Undercover research project.

 "Beyond the cover" - A short film created by research participant Nina as part of Romana Mirza's Women Undercover research project

Romana's project is ongoing, and those interested are invited to attend Modest Fashion 2: “Revolution or Revival” on March 12, 2019, external link in Toronto. The event features a lecture and panel discussion with visionary entrepreneurs immersed in Modest Fashion to discuss the industry’s rapid evolution and its future.

 For more information, contact:

Romana B. Mirza, MA Fashion 2019
Principal Investigator
romana.mirza@ryerson.ca

This research is conducted for partial completion of the Master of Arts degree in Fashion, under the supervision of Dr. Ben Barry.