New Exhibition Tells Stories of Women Photographers From Iran and the Arab World

December 5, 2017


For immediate release 

Ottawa, Ontario, December 5, 2017 — More than 85 evocative images about contemporary life in the Middle East are brought together in the exhibition She Who Tells a Story – Women Photographers From Iran and the Arab World. Organized by the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the exhibition of works by 12 leading women photographers will be presented for the first time in Canada at the Canadian War Museum as of December 6, 2017.

“The sophisticated and provocative images present the Middle East with a fresh perspective,” said Stephen Quick, Director General of the Canadian War Museum. “Ranging from fine art to photojournalism, the stunning photographs challenge Western conceptions and provide insight into the contemporary social and political landscape of Iran and the Arab world.”

Divided into three thematic areas — Deconstructing Orientalism, New Documentary and Constructing Identity — the exhibition highlights the rich artistic expression of pioneering photographers Jananne Al-Ani, Boushra Almutawakel, Gohar Dashti, Rana El Nemr, Lalla Essaydi, Shadi Ghadirian, Tanya Habjouqa, Rula Halawani, Nermine Hammam, Rania Matar, Shirin Neshat and Newsha Tavakolian. The title of the exhibition is inspired by the Arabic word “rawiya” (), which means “she who tells a story.” The photographs, which span the 1990s to today, provide compelling narratives and reveal the individuality of each artist’s work.

She Who Tells a Story is the first exhibition of its kind in North America. Originally created and shown at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, it has since travelled in the United States where it was very well received. It was presented at the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University in California, the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C.

She Who Tells a Story will be presented at the Canadian War Museum until March 4, 2018.

The Canadian War Museum is Canada’s national museum of military history. Its mission is to promote public understanding of Canada’s military history in its personal, national, and international dimensions. Work of the Canadian War Museum is made possible in part through financial support of the Government of Canada.

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Media contacts:
Yasmine Mingay
Director, Public Affairs
Canadian War Museum
Telephone: 819-776-8608

Avra Gibbs Lamey
Senior Communications and Media Relations Officer, Canadian War Museum
Telephone: 819-776-8607