Excerpts from ‘She Who Tells a Story’ – women photographers from Iran and the Arab world by Kristen Gresh.

 “Since no single definition of femininity persists, they engage in a sort of role-playing or cross-dressing, trying on the conflicted identities wrought by war and gender roles, to accentuate the absurdity of labels that highlight difference and conceal resemblance.”

“Through the image, which they now control, they amuse themselves, sowing confusion and shrewdly violating the rules of representation.”

“Alterity and exile – the inability to find an intact image of oneself in the others gaze.”

Artists I looked at: Shirin Neshat, Shadi Ghadirian, Newsha Tavakolian


( Gresh, K. and Krifa, M. (2013). She who tells a story. Boston: MFA publications.)

Image: NEWSHA TAVAKOLIANUntitled, from the series “Listen,” 2011.

-Azraa Motala