The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA, USA is opening yet another magnificent photography exhibition this week.
Entitled “She Who Tells a Story” – the literal translation of the word rawia, Arabic for the feminine form of a storyteller – the exhibition consists of works submitted solely by female photographers hailing from the Arab world, Iran and beyond.
Inspired by the curators’ high opinion of the work of female photographers she saw on display in both Europe and the Arab world, the thread joining the pieces together is their presence as simply “powerful photographs” which speak to the “complexities” of identity.
Other sub-themes of the exhibition are, naturally, women’s issues and stereotypes.
One piece by Iraqi photographer Jananne Al-Ani entitled “Shadow Sites II” depicts a desert landscape, interrupted in its flow by infrastructure. It was previously housed at the Smithsonian’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington, DC. Ms. Al-Ani has built a name for herself on her artistic attacks on the traditional notion of Orientalism in the West.
Another set of works presented in the exhibition is the series by Lebanese artist Rania Matar “A Girl and Her Room” – a series which has gained significant international recognition in the past year, consisting of portraiture of young girls and women in the Levant posing in their bedrooms in settings that range from houses to refugee camps.
Egyptian photographer Nermine Hammam submitted photographs documenting the Arab Spring in her home country – pictures of both protesters and the military in action.
What differentiates these from simple war photography and photojournalism is her transfer of the individuals into new settings, most of which consist of idyllic, calm mountain settings from antique Japanese prints.
Included in the exhibition are photographs by Newsha Tavakolian, Gohar Dashti, Shadi Ghadirian, Jananne Al-Ani, Boushra Almutawakel, Rana El Nemr, Lalla Essaydi and Tanya Habjouqa, among others.
With such a dynamic group of female photographers present, and bringing a visual voice to a number of pertinent subjects, this is an exhibition that is absolutely not to be missed. For more information about “She Who Tells a Story”, please click here. For more information on Jananne Al-Ani, please click here; for more information on Rania Matar, please click here. For more information on Nermine Hammam, please click here.
“She Who Tells a Story” runs from August 27th, 2013 – January 12th, 2014.