Tuesday, 20 March 2007

palestinian scarves

if you read my article further down, raging at capitalist jokers, then you will know how incensed i have been lately about advertisers using great and radical art and demeaning it to become associated with their products.
now i turn my attention to the kaffiyeh as fashion statement.
it is a cultural and political symbol, not an accessory. i find it insulting to the palestinian struggle that young men and women swan around in these scarves not because they have any sense of or solidarity with the war in israel and the occupation, but because they look cool.
it is like che t shirts. half those kids didn't know who che was, and even when they did they were living in cloud cuckoo land and thinking he didn't kill anyone because he was a goodie socialist.
i ask you.
it is another example of the fashion industry taking what was politically active and important and inflammatory and turning it into a product, a commodity that could be sold. how can anything have any meaning when everything has a price tag and a cool kudos value? what about the values that matter? what about giving a damn?
ok. so if for every kaffiyeh they sell in topshop or urban outfitters or wherever ( it'll be m&s next.) they donated ALL the proceeds to helping the orphans in occupied palestine, if for every purchase of a kaffiyeh the buyer was forced to read about its significance and the history and the problems of israel and palestine and sign a petition or do SOMETHING, then ok, fair enough.
but we know that isn't happening.
if you wear the keffiyah because you want to make a political statement of solidarity, then kind of fair enough, although there are better ways. but if, like im sure most of you are, you wear it because it is oh so pretty, then for fuck's sake, go buy some principles.
they're on special offer in selfridge you know.


Spitting Mad said...


On the palestine issue... anyone in Hebden Bridge (or near enough) should come along to Valley of the Dolls. on April 21st. I'll be playing quiche for palestinian lesbians. No really.

Those interested in terrible advertising should check out our recent deviation from usual concerns at OWMMS

This spam has been brought to you by the dollyxx

Fishman said...

Every girl in Leeds wears a keffiyah, it doesn't enrage me so much, because it is incredibly prolific among young people, everywhere you turn, you will see one or more of the fashionable Leeds mullet haircuts, which are still going strong after 5 years. I find it's another redundant statement, meaningless, shaped by the kind of image or unpunk sloganeering which saw Justin Timberlake wearing an "MC5" T-Shirt a couple of years ago.

Remember the days when most T-Shirts had this horrible macho US army feel, stamp or word... it just isn't cool... it's offensive, because it's sh't!

gspotmagazine said...

Thanks for your post about how fashion commodifies cultural symbols. One thing that makes me so sick is people who wear the AIDS ribbon because it's popular. Or the new Gap line of red clothes & accessories. AIDS isn't a fashion statement, it's a disease.

Way to be spot on.