Rawiya: Arab women expose a unique take on regional art
Rawiya means “she who tells a story”. It also represents a group of female photographers that gather women centric photos from across the Middle East. The exhibit will be shown in Dubai for the first time.
The focus of the art work is on simple, human women rather than violence in the region. It stresses the importance of education for the Arab woman. One photographer, Laura Boushnak, takes pictures of women’s faces in Yemen and then has them write what education means to them on the art itself. One woman wrote “Education is not a goal, education simply means to reach your goal”.
Another photographer, Tamara Abdul Hadi, uses images not taken by herself with the idea that seeing the world through the eyes of those normally photographed would be a way to invite the viewer to look at another angle.
With all photographers being Arab women, it would be easy to show the struggles in the region. They are proud that the theme of their images is not about the hard lens headlines but more about the soft side of life in the Middle East. It’s a way to honor that there is still beauty in the region despite all of the road blocks.
Images can be viewed at the Rawiya website or at the art exhibit in Dubai through October 16 at the Gulf Photo Plus.