Fine Art Sculpture
Salima Essakkati is an artist with a Muslim background who, in her artwork explores the possibilities of her alter-ego: Salima el Musalima, an Avant-Garde Imam who re-invents the concept of an imam and how the extra-polarities of freedom and non-freedom can be both liberating and limiting at the same time. The idea of a female imam being refused by tradition can be seen as limiting, but it also can be a tool of emancipation and freedom, because while the traditional male imam is confined within the walls of tradition, the woman-artist-imam is outside of it and is able to explore all the possibilities of Islamic expression. In her work Salima tries to look beyond the veil.
In her previous project she went on a pilgrimage to Paris, the city of love, where she tried to find out if the religious institutions of Paris are able to give love to orphan girls in Sierra Leone, the poorest country in the world. With this project she tries to find out if the institutions truly practice what they preach or that she will find the love for the girls elsewhere.
Currently she is working on a project where Pim Fortuyn gets a reconciliation with the Muslim community and is declared a saint for the Roman Catholic church and the Islamic faith. She is also working on the creation of the ‘Theo van Goghmosque’, a museum built in Islamic style dedicated to the works of Theo van Gogh and other artists who defend the freedom of speech.