“She Who Tells a Story – Women Photographers from Iran and the Arab World” is the name of Kristen Gresh’s new book, an amazing reportage of 110 photographies that portrays day-to-day life in Iran and Arab World. The book presents the pioneering work of twelve women photographers in the different countries of the region. Although different themes are explored, the dominant subject is the resentment of stereotype. As the NYT described, “one example is the omnipresent Western notion of the Middle Eastern woman as veiled, exotic, erotic, anonymous, suppressed and powerless, yet threatening”.
One of the contributors, Gohar Dashti, born in Iran in 1980 and currently living in Teheran, photographed the series “Today’s Life and War”. In her photos she presents the complex relationship of “a post Iran-Iraq war couple”, people – who can only be deeply traumatized – after living for eight years a conflict where more than 1 million people died.
For another of the artists, Lalla Essaydi, born and raised in Morocco but living in the US, photography allows her to “reconsider Orientalism mythology”. Her photos can be distinguished by her employment of Arabic calligraphy, and in her own words, “In her art, she wishes to present herself through multiple lenses – as artist, as Moroccan, as traditionalist, as Liberal, as Muslim. In short, she invites viewers to resist stereotypes”.
Click here to see what the book looks like and enjoy!