“She Who Tells a Story”: Women Photographers from Iran and the Arab World

The Museum of Fine Arts Boston is currently exhibiting She Who Tells a Story, a show featuring twelve women photographers from Iran and the Arab world. The exhibit runs from August 27, 2013 – January 12, 2014 and includes work by Jananne Al-Ani, Boushra Almutawakel, Gohar Dashti, Rana El Nemr, Lalla Essaydi, Shadi Ghadirian, Tanya Habjouqa, Rula Halawani, Nermine Hammam, Rania Matar, Shirin Neshat, and Newsha Tavakolian.

Newsha Tavakolian, Dont Forget This Is Not You (for Sahar Lotfi), 2010. Chromogenic print mounted on aluminum.

Newsha Tavakolian, Dont Forget This Is Not You (for Sahar Lotfi), 2010. Chromogenic print mounted on aluminum.

The curator of She Who Tells a Story, Kristen Gresh, notes the work is all incredibly diverse, however, the theme of “complexities of identity” runs throughout. Looking at the included photos it’s clear that each photographer is shooting from a different perspective. One might focus on the horrors of war, another on girls coming of age, and another on landscape.

Rania Matar, Alia, Beirut, Lebanon, 2010. Pigment Print.

Rania Matar, Alia, Beirut, Lebanon, 2010. Pigment Print.

Gohar Dashti, Untitled #5, 2008. Chromogenic print.

Gohar Dashti, Untitled #5, 2008. Chromogenic print.

One of the artists, Newsha Tavakolian, says that although She Who Tells a Story can’t directly affect the political climate in Egypt or other parts of the region, this exhibit could help “provide people with the opportunity to see some different perspectives from the region”. By displaying the work of people whose perspective we are not entirely familiar with or who typically don’t have a large platform in the US, we can learn more about others and expand our own perspective. Exhibits dedicated to artists displaying their individual identities and perspectives can help combat misinformation and stereotypes.

If you’re in the Boston area, go to the show! For those of us who aren’t, we can check out more images from the exhibit here or read an article about the artists included here.

What do you think about the work in the show? Share your thoughts in the comments!

The Museum of Fine Arts Boston, She Who Tells a Story, August 27, 2013 – January 12, 2014

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