Explosion of Silence.
The World of Women in Yemen
45 min.

WDR 2001, Länder-Menschen-Abenteuer
Digibeta, 4:3, Stereo, German version
English transcript available
Beatrix Wiggeshoff
Gisela Koschytorz
Location manager in Sana'a:
Yahya Al-Madani
Manfred Pütz

Most women in Yemen leave their homes only completely veiled. And they refuse to be photographed or filmed. Their fear of 'losing face' is enormous. For the first time ever, a German TV crew was able to gain the trust of Yemeni women, who granted them insight into their private and professional life. Women with university degrees as well as illiterate women speak out in this film. The fact that most of them are veiled up to their eyes says nothing about their education and the degree of respect they enjoy in their families and their society. Many women present themselves veiled in public so that they can pursue their interests without interference.

This documentary dispels many European clichés about the world of Arab women and their allegedly invisible lives by contrasting those prejudices with images of self-determined and optimistic women. "Explosion of Silence" shows the self-confidence of Yemeni women, 12 years after the unification of North and South Yemen, 30 years after the country first opened its borders to tourists and guests from the West.

> Rezension: „ Alles getan, uns geopfert“, PDF

Installation in der Ausstellung „Töchter des Jemen“,
Völkerkundemuseum zu Leipzig 2005

Further reading
Werner Daum:
Märchen aus dem Jemen
Fotolito Longo, 1999
ISBN 3927270-19-09