previews

Tanya Habjouqa, Untitled, 2010, C-print, 30 x 40". From the series “Women of Gaza,” 2010. From “She Who Tells a Story: Women Photographers from Iran and the Arab World.”

Boston

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

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
465 Huntington Avenue
August 27 - January 12

Curated by Kristen Gresh

Taking its title from the young photographers’ collective Rawiya, whose name means “she who tells a story” in Arabic, this exhibition features one hundred images by a dozen artists, all of them women, who cover a range of styles and subjects as complex and contradictory as the region from which they hail. Divided into three chapters—“Deconstructing Orientalism,” “Constructing Identities,” and “New Documentary”—the show revisits photographs from the 1990s by Jananne Al-Ani, Shadi Ghadirian, and Shirin Neshat, wherein the veil appears as a theatrical device, and introduces grittier, more recent images by artists such as Rana El Nemr, Tanya Habjouqa, Rula Halawani, and Newsha Tavakolian, which consider the sociopolitical landscapes of the Middle East. Picturing calisthenics in Gaza, aspiring pop singers in Tehran, the metro in Cairo, and class politics in Beirut, these visual stories move beyond the
exotic and into the real world.