2014 Student Research Conference:
27th Annual Student Research Conference

The [Sur]real World of Baya
Lacy A. Murphy
Dr. Betty McLane-Iles, Faculty Mentor

The surrealist Algerian artist Baya Mahieddine used the medium of gouache to create a unique universe where women could exist without men. Despite several critiques which declared Baya's art as naive or primitive, the paintings actually existed as an evasion to the tyrannical and patriarchal society of French colonized Algeria - revealing a refined and complicated artistic process. The idealized world that Baya created for women was in absolute contrast to the real simultaneous conditions in the country. This paper will study the works of Baya while using feminist and post-colonial theories to better understand the reception of these paintings and also the representation of women as subjects. It will claim, through these depictions, the artist revolutionized surrealist art for women in non-western countries and, as a results of these procedures, will provide a better comprehension concerning the state of women's rights during the period.

Keywords: Algeria, Women's Rights, Feminism, Surrealism, France, Colonization

Topic(s):French Capstone
Art - Art History
African Studies

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 312-2
Location: VH 1324
Time: 1:15

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