Guest Post: Pink Arab by Dafy Hagai

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Guest post by Dafy Hagai, director & photographer, currently living in Tel Aviv.
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I was walking through Jaffa the other day, through Yeffet st. I love the shops there, they have such a cool combination of Arab pieces and western merchandise. I went in to a sex/lingerie store, which seemed like a weird idea at first. Since my perception was that Arab women are supposed to be very unexposed, having a store like that in the main street of an Arab neighborhood in Jaffa seemed pretty off. The salespeople, two girls, an 8 year old and a 12 year old, were watching TV as I entered. I started looking at the items, and they were offering me stuff very casually, I guess I was more embarrassed then they were. Finally I came across a few pairs of really trashy underwear, the coolest one was a pair of heart underwear, made entirely out of little fake diamonds. I got them for props, as a part of some photos I’ve been taking lately that deal with Arab motives, shown below.


“Maid of Honor- Blue”


“Pink Arab”


“Maid of Honor- Pink”


Lots of Gold



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Tom in Jaffa

I love the exotic juxtaposition I can create with Arab aesthetics. The new and contemporary and the old and traditional. Arab architecture and elements have an apparent tradition in the way they look, so it’s adding another layer for symbolizing a place. When shooting with Tom I used these backgrounds, that blend in with the color palette but have a different feel.

The same contrast exists in the objects, that I placed in a more fashion type of sets. They symbolize femininity in a traditional sense and I just love the way they look, since I’m intrigued with Kitsch, and it’s a big part of my aesthetic manipulation. The way the Hijab looks so feminine, pink with little decorations, but its function is to cover up. By using these objects with western casual wear/situation, I wanted to show a contrast of how femininity is being handled in different cultures, and challenging my own aesthetic perception.