Senses Cultural’s traveling photography exhibition, Enduring Power: the Middle Eastern and Iranian Woman’s Story, is scheduled to open in San Francisco on September 21st, 2015 at San Francisco State University. On September 24th, there will be a grand opening reception featuring a Keynote speech from Ms. Karen AbuZayd followed by a Panel Discussion among guests and faculty. Like the Panel Discussion at UC Davis in 2014, this will be a great opportunity to reflect on the photographs as well as dig deeper into the issues they highlight and larger statements that they make regarding the Middle East.
This San Francisco leg of the exhibition is dedicated to Ms. AbuZayd for her life-long and unwavering devotion to humanitarian causes. Ms. Karen AbuZayd, a former American Diplomat who served the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for 19 years, first started started her career in humanitarianism in Sudan in 1981. She was the Commissioner-General for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East from 2005-2010. Currently, she is one of four Commissioners for the UN Human Rights Council’s Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic and serves on the boards of the Middle East Policy Council in Washington, UNRWA/USA and Americans for a Vibrant Palestinian Economy (AVPE).
These 44 images represent a wide range of experiences, aspirations, fears and realities of Middle Eastern and Iranian women from Yemen, Egypt, Bahrain, Iran and Kuwait. A collection of work from seven female photographers of Middle Eastern backgrounds, Enduring Power shows an intimate and unique perspective of an otherwise private world to the American audience. Produced by Tata Monfared, Senses Cultural’s founder, and curated by Sina Araghi, a Los Angeles based photographer, Enduring Power was strongly supported and celebrated by the faculty and students of UC Davis. Senses is proud that San Francisco will be the second home for this traveling exhibition, and looks forward to sharing this powerful photography collection with the SFSU community.
By Silvana Gargione