Senses Cultural welcomes artists, author, and activist Samina Ali as the keynote speaker at Oct 15th’s opening of Enduring Power: The Middle Eastern and Iranian Woman’s Story.
Samina’s work aligns very much with the goals of Senses Cultural: both are dedicated to building a more peaceful world through understanding and sharing of ideas. Currently she is working on a project highlighting women’s stories and self-portraits, and last year she curated an international exhibition, Muslima, for the Global Fund for Women. Her participation with this opening is a great marriage between her own work and the chosen photographers from the Middle East and Iran, as they all understand and give great value to the important of sharing and revealing the true voice of women. More specifically, these ideas can be shared through women’s art.
As Samina so wonderfully states:
“It’s so important for women to speak uncensored to the realities of their lives. Art and photography are a perfect medium for such communication because the audience views art with their guard down, soaking it in with their whole bodies — that’s when real transformation can take place. All too often in our current environment, we are filled with stereotypes about the lives of Middle Eastern and Iranian women. We often think of these women as submissive, controlled by their fathers then husbands and then their own sons, completely powerless. Yet the people disseminating such troubling images are not often Middle Eastern and not often even women. So it’s vital in this environment for women to speak for themselves, for women to show the true realities of their lives — to take back the mic, so to speak. Although some women in the photographs may be powerless economically or socially — as women are around the world — the point is that the person photographing is also a woman, also of Middle Eastern or Iranian background. No exotification is occurring, no one is being objectified. The women in these photos retain their full humanity — and that, ultimately, is my hope for this exhibition. I want people to see past their own notions and ideas to the true intent and power of these photographs so that we can build more cross-cultural understanding and tolerance.”
For more information on Samina Ali’s new project, visit http://www.groundbreakhers.com/