Gender-based Socio-semiotic Analysis of Honour Killing in Pakistani Paintings
Keywords:Honour killing, social semiotic analysis, Pakistani paintings, gender representation, visual grammar
Episodes of ideological concern related to honour norms and construction of social meanings depicted through paintings are pertinent in foregrounding the social realities of Pakistan. This paper analyzes the grammar of paintings from the perspective of gender roles assumed in the context of honour. The grammar of the visual design of five paintings painted by male and female Pakistani painters belonging to different areas of Pakistan have been qualitatively studied in the light of the social semiotic framework suggested by Kress and Leeuwen (2006). The results show that women are represented as helpless, outcast and oppressed beings; while men have been depicted, indirectly through signs, as oppressors. Paucity of research in this area and implications of the analysis for gender studies, anthropological linguistics, violence studies and visual literacy, make it a significant contribution to the existing literature.