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Maria Stehle; Gender, Performance, and the Politics of Space: Germany and the Veil in Popular Culture. Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 1 May 2012; 32 (1): 89–101. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/1089201X-1545390
Since the 1990s, the headscarf has played a powerful role in negotiating questions of national and cultural belonging, gender identity, and definitions of urban space in Germany. This essay examines examples of veiling depicted in popular culture and theorizes the relationship between the headscarf and gendered and racialized spaces and the headscarf’s potential as a symbol of defiance in Germany. The two examples, the television comedy Turkish for Beginners and the performances of Berlin hip-hop artist Sahira Awad, illustrate how young Muslimas (female Muslims) inhabit a precarious space as mediators between cultures. In spite of being rather prescriptive, the mediator role also opens up spaces for critical intervention in the German media landscape.