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Social Order: Women Photographers from Iran, India and Afghanistan

Source: Photo Center northwest, 900 12th Avenue Seattle, WA 98122

It does not make a difference to me what place the Iranian woman has in the world because I am sure no one knows much about it -Shadi Ghadirian

The Photo Center NW is pleased to announce Social Order: Women Photographers from Iran, India and Afghanistan. This important exhibition features five contemporary women artists whose work explores the role of women in the context of cultural constructs, religion, censorship and the media. This exhibition draws powerful parallels and invites us all to reconsider our personal roles as advocates of tolerance and diversity in our cities.

Shadi Ghadirian creates photographs of women from two eras, unclear as to what time they belong. She presents women that appear to be from the turn of the century, however they each carry a modern object that was smuggled into contemporary Iran. These images represent a defiant study of female emancipation in the face of political and social adversity. From Priya Kambli’s visual explorations of the transience and split cultural identity caused by the act of migration, to Annu Palakunnathu Matthew’s play on her individual “otherness.”

Each of these artists has left an important mark on the world of contemporary photography through their courageous and relevant work. Afghan-American artist Gazelle Samizayuses video installations and photographs to address her bicultural upbringing to negotiate the space between “Afghan” and “American” women. Manjari Sharma collaborates with skilled Indian craftsmen and creatives to produce epic photographic recreations of 9 classical images of gods and goddesses pivotal to mythological stories in Hinduism.

The Photo Center takes great pride in presenting exhibitions and is aware of the powerful impact images can make on our community. We are committed to bringing exceptional works to the Pacific Northwest and engaging our visitors in understanding new cultures, asking tough questions, and shedding light on important global issues through photography.

About the artists:

Shadi Ghadirian is an Iranian contemporary artist who was inspired by the studio portraiture first introduced to Iran in the late 19th century under the Qajar dynasty (1794-1925). Ghadirian employs painted backdrops and juxtaposes fashions of the day with modern elements. She says of her work, “My pictures became a mirror reflecting how I felt: stuck between tradition and modernity.”

Shadi Ghadirian, Qajar #3, 1998

Gazelle Samizay was born in Kabul, Afghanistan and now resides in the US. Her photographs and videos have been exhibited throughout the US and internationally. Samizay is a recipient of the Princess Grace Experimental Film Honoraria and the 1985 Graduate Fellowship in Arts and Humanities, among others. She received her Master’s in Fine Arts in photography at the University of Arizona.

Gazelle Samizay, Upon My Daughter, Martyr

Annu Palakunnathu Matthew was born in India and is a 2012 Fullbright award recepient. Her recent exhibitions include Sepia International, New York City, the RISD Museum, Newark Art Museum, Newark, NJ, 2009 Guangzhou Biennial of Photography, China, 2006 Noorderlicht Photo Festival in Netherlands and the 2005 Le Mois de la Photo Montreal Photo Biennale in

Annu Palakunnathu Matthew, Warpaint/Warpaint, from An Indian from India, 2001-2003, Orotone
Courtesy of the artist and sepia EYE, New York

Manjari Sharma was born and raised in Mumbai, India. Sharma is one of the most important emerging photographers today and a Critical Mass Top 50 winner, PDNedu featured photographer, and recepient of ASMP and IPA Lucie Awards.Manjari’s work has received press from The Morning News, Burn Magazine, 1000 Words, Flak Photo, Fraction Magazine, among many others.

Manjari Sharma, Darshan Project

Priya Kambli was born and raised in India. For Kambli photography is a means to bridge the gap between two cultures, come to terms with the effects of displacement, and to illuminate connections between the past and the present. She earned her M.F.A. in photography from the University of Houston and received her B.F.A. at the University of Louisiana,

Priya Kambli, Dada Aajooba, Muma and Me, 2008

Photo Center northwest
900 12th Avenue Seattle, WA 98122

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