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accomodation of the kufiyaArrow vol 7 no 3 contents
About borderlands VOLUME 7 NUMBER 3, 2008


Transnational Resistance or Cultural Exotica? Interrogating the Multicultural Accommodation of the Kufiya

Nashwa Salem
OISE/University of Toronto



The paper focuses on the multicultural incorporation of kufiya to argue that the coded aesthetics of dress is a salient non-verbal political signifier that marks transnational identities of resistance. However its resistive communication is ruptured and dehistoricized by its incorporation into the hegemonic zone of multicultural Canada. Paradoxically, multiculturalism’s disembodied production of the kufiya is further appropriated and commodified by mainstream countercultures as exotic chic through an Orientalist frame. The paper analyzes the cultural appropriation of the kufiya as a political practice whereby it concurrently operates within and naturalizes unequal power and social relationships. The processes that enable dominant groups to access, possess and (re)define cultural productions of marginal social groups are also interrogated.

A full copy of the article is available as a PDF document: click here.

© borderlands ejournal 2008



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ISSN 1447-0810