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Impressions Gallery

exhibitions: past

Realism in Rawiya: Photographic Stories from the Middle East

18th Feb - 16th May 2015

Myriam Abdelaziz
Tamara Abdul Hadi
Laura Boushnak
Tanya Habjouqa
Dalia Khamissy
Newsha Tavakolian


Realism in Rawiya
presents the work of Rawiya, the first all female photographic collective to emerge from the Middle East.
With a specific focus on gender and identity, the exhibition presents a thoughtful view of a region in flux, balancing its contradictions while reflecting on social and political issues and stereotypes.

Rawiya, which translates from Arabic to mean ‘she who tells a story’, is made up of artists who established their individual careers as photojournalists by working for news agencies and publications across the Arab world. By living and reporting in the region, they gained an insider’s view of the extremities of these settings, whilst also observing how their reportage could become reframed in the international media’s final edit of events.

Realism in Rawiya is rich with untold stories, from a Palestinian all-female auto racing team and transsexuals in Jerusalem, to cluster bomb survivors trying to rebuild their lives, Iranian mothers of martyrs who visit their son’s grave twice a week and parents in Lebanon who continue to wait for the 17,000 missing to come home.

The photographers see internationally newsworthy events through a local eye, resulting in a personal photographic insight into everyday life in the Middle East. Many artists in Rawiya have also lived the stories they tell, like Dalia Khamissy whose work The Missing: Lebanon (2010 – ongoing) echoes her own experience of her father’s kidnap when she was seven-years old. Artist Newsha Tavakolian states that the work of Rawiya offers ‘a way of breathing within the smothering world of censorship.’

Realism in Rawiya
is a touring exhibition by New Art Exchange (NAE), Nottingham, curated by NAE and Saleem Arif Quadry.

Exhibition resources

Click here to download an information sheet (pdf 264KB)
Click here to download an exhibition guide (pdf 756KB )
Click here to download our Gallery Trail for younger visitors (1.4MB)

What the papers say

The Guardian Guide
The Royal Academy Blog
Aesthetica Magazine
Amateur Photographer
Women's Views on News
The Telegraph and Argus
RPS Journal
Vice UK
Cellophane blog by Design Context
Studio 360

Untitled, from the 'Women of Gaza' series, 2009  Tanya Habjouqa

Untitled, from the 'Women of Gaza' series, 2009 Tanya Habjouqa

Click on thumbnail below to enlarge

Untitled, from the 'Women of Gaza' series, 2009  Tanya Habjouqa Untitled, from the 'Missing' series, 2010 - ongoing  Dalia Khamissy Untitled, from the 'Survivor' series, 2007 - 2012  Laura Boushnak Untitled, from the 'Listen' series, 2011  Newsha Tavakolian Untitled, from the series 'Picture an Arab Man', 2009 - ongoing  Tamara Abdul Hadi Untitled, from the 'Egyptian Revolution' series, 2011  Myriam Abdelaziz Untitled, from the 'Fragile Monsters' Series, 2009  Tanya Habjouqa Untitled from the 'Missing' series, 2010 - ongoing  Dalia Khamissy Untitled, from the series 'I Read I Write', 2009 - 2012  Laura Boushnak Untitled, from the 'Mothers of Martyrs' series, 2006  Newsha Tavakolian Untitled, from the series 'Picture an Arab Man', 2009 - ongoing  Tamara Abdul Hadi Untitled, from the 'Transition' series, 2009   Myriam Abdelaziz

Comments

I really liked the gallery space and exhibition. It had a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere and the exhibition showed really interesting photographs that explore different beliefs and opinions on very serious matters.

A beautiful exhibition today that did what it advertised; it got me looking, thinking and talking. Great atmosphere in the gallery, calm and educational.

Sombre work that speaks volumes.
True to the meaning of Rawiya, a single frame opens our minds up to so much, yet we still know so little. Best wishes to all those who have to live lives of tragedy.

Fantastic exhibition - beautiful, sad and funny in parts.

Superb! It was wonderful to hear the voices of all these women so strongly through these powerful images.

Fantastic exhibition! It is so good to have something of this quality in Bradford; it is exactly what the Impressions Gallery is for.

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