“Suspended Together” is an installation that gives the impression of movement and freedom. However, a closer look at the 200 doves allows the viewer to realize that the doves are actually frozen and suspended with no hope of flight. An even closer look shows that each dove carries on its body a permission document that allows a Saudi woman to travel. Notwithstanding their circumstances, all Saudi women are required to have this document, issued by their appointed male guardian.
The artist reached out to a large group of leading women from Saudi Arabia to donate their permission documents for inclusion in this artwork. “Suspended Together” carries the documents of award-winning scientists, educators, journalists, engineers, artists and leaders with groundbreaking achievements that gave back to their society. The youngest contributor is six months old and the oldest is 60 years old. In the artist’s words, “regardless of age and achievement, when it comes to travel, all these women are treated like a flock of suspended doves.” via kawlture
This is quite beautiful. Especially since the artist, Manal Al Dowayan, was born and raised in Saudi Arabia herself. This is the product of her reality, not just some perception of a foreigner.
“Although the history of the Arab woman inspires me, it is the modern Arab woman that motivates and gives me courage. I hope that women with education and financial independence will become fully and actively involved in shaping the decisions that affect their future and the futures of their daughters…..” -Manal al Dowayan