Past Exhibitions

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

May 30, 2015 – September 28, 2015


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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.


Related Events:
May 30: She Who Tells a Story: Opening Day Curator's Lecture
June 17: Members Only! Coffee with the Expert: An Introduction to Persian and Iranian Art Culture
July 22–August 15: Historical Perspectives on Persian and Iranian Art and Culture (Four-Session Art History Class, Wednesdays OR Saturdays)
August 2: Poetry Workshop with Author Dunya Mikhail
September 10: Gallery Conversation: Arab and Iranian Women and Traditions in Contemporary Culture
September 15: An Evening with Photographer Rania Matar
September 17–19: Film Screenings: Women and the Silent Screen VIII
September 23 or 26: Persian Carpets: One-Day Workshop

Exhibition Credits

Support for She Who Tells a Story: Women Photographers from Iran and the Arab World is provided by Cathy Raphael, Anonymous, Ritchie Battle, Susan and John Block, the Jack Buncher Foundation, Gordon and Kenny Nelson, Nancy Bernstein, Anne Nemer Dhanda and Anuj Dhanda, Mary Louise Gailliot, Jane Greer, Janet S. Hunt, Ann McGuinn, Peggy McKnight, Nancy Ostrow, Laura A. Pallan, MD, Caryn B. Rubinoff, Dr. and Mrs. V. Thomas Worrall III, Simin Yazdgerdi Curtis, Diane Samuels and Henry Reese, and Mary Murtland Berger.

General operating support for Carnegie Museum of Art is provided by The Heinz Endowments and Allegheny Regional Asset District. Carnegie Museum of Art receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.