In Arabic, the word rawiya means “she who tells a story.” The photographs in this exhibition—made by women with roots in Iran and the Arab world—are themselves a collection of stories.
She Who Tells a Story introduces the pioneering work of 12 leading women photographers who have tackled the very notion of representation with passion and power, questioning tradition and challenging perceptions of Middle Eastern identity. Their provocative work ranges from fine art to photojournalism and provides insights into political and social issues, including questions of personal identity and the complex political and social landscapes of their home regions in images of great sophistication, expressiveness, and beauty. She Who Tells a Story is an invitation not only to discover new photography, but to shift perspectives and to open a cultural dialogue that begins with art.
This exhibition includes work by Jananne Al-Ani (Iraqi, b. 1966), Boushra Almutawakel (Yemini, b. 1969), Gohar Dashti (Iranian, b. 1980), Rana El Nemr (Egyptian, b.Germany, 1974), Lalla Essaydi (Moroccan, b. 1956), Shadi Ghadirian (Iranian, b. 1974), Tanya Habjouqa (Jordanian, b. 1975), Rula Halawani (Palestinian, b. 1964), Nermine Hammam (Egyptian, b. 1967), Rania Matar (Lebanese, b. 1964), Shirin Neshat (Iranian, b. 1957), and Newsha Tavakolian (Iranian, b. 1981).
She Who Tells a Story: Women Photographers from Iran and the Arab World is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and organized for Carnegie Museum of Art by Adam Ryan, curatorial assistant of photography at CMOA.