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For The Hoodie, Het Nieuwe Instituut and curator Lou Stoppard invited several specialists to shine a light on this multi-faceted garment. Their varied contributions confirm the richness of the hoodie’s stories, deepening the exhibition themes. In this article, art historian Alexandra van Dongen puts the hoodie into transhistorical and transcultural perspective.



Inhabited by Imaginings We Did Not Choose

Finally, the work of artist Yasmina Bouziane is a powerful contemporary response to the shared past of the huik and the haik. Her photographic series Inhabited by Imaginings We Did Not Choose reflects on the history of the Algerian haik that played an important and visible role during the French colonisation of Algeria, beginning in 1830 and lasting until the middle of the 20th century. Moreover, European orientalism fed the idea that these non-European societies had to be conquered and civilised, making the haik the target and justification to do so. French settlers reasoned that, if they were able to conquer the haik, and so unveil women, they could conquer Algeria. During the Franco-Algerian war, the haik therefore became a symbol of resistance for Algerians against French domination, and a sign of their independence. Both men and women hid under the haik in order to smuggle all kinds of things for the resistance.

By examining the transcultural biography of the huik and the haik, shared histories become visible, although a great deal of research is still needed to unravel the complex and multiple origins of this type of garment and so uncover the fascinating acculturation process between different cultures that have been connected for centuries.