Dar AlAnda Gallery Exhibits ‘Women through my lens’ By Fatima Abbadi
‘A woman can say more in a sigh than a man can say in a sermon’ (Arnold Haultain). This sentiment is certainly echoed in the black and white photographic collection by Fatima Abbadi. Her works are a homage to the feminine subject, captivating and alluring, they transcend culture and race to evoke the rare beauty in transcendental moments in the lives of women throughout the world.
This is Abbadi’s first exhibit in Jordan but one of many in Italy. Inspiration for Abbadi is derived from such photojournalists and street photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Eduard Boubat and Eugene Smith whose choice of black and white photography is a deliberate attempt to emphasize raw emotion in the subject without the distraction or articulation that colour produces. A belief that Abbadi herself has ascribed to.
The works are an eclectic array of different scenes of women in their daily lives both in Europe and the Middle East. Moments in the lives of young and old are captured, each telling a distinctly unique and personal life story. In one of the photographs the back of a woman walking whilst carrying her child is deceptively simple yet profoundly telling of Abbadi’s personal photographic philosophy. Women are traditionally appointed as the care givers in society and this is often taken for granted, a point cleverly illustrated through Abbadi’s choice of angle in this photograph. Only the face of the child is seen depicting the way in which the vital role played by women is so often disregarded.
Despite such individuality within each piece there is a universality that coalesce each photograph uniting the female experience. The central theme throughout is that woman, irrespective of location, ‘are all the same, the basis is always the same’. The collection is very much a reflection of the artists own personal life of belonging to two different cultures, Jordanian and Italian. Abbadi explains that her mixture of nationalities gives her a unique perspective on culture, society and women especially. She goes on to explain that being part Arab has allowed her to see the ways in which ‘Arab women are special’. A point that she feels compelled to stress due to the general misconceptions about Arab women that she has heard whilst exhibiting her collections in Europe. Abbadi wants to break the barriers surrounding the perception of Arab women in the West and feels that her collection is a concerted effort to illustrate the similarities of both Arab and European women which in turn will serve to help erase the divisions in perception in both societies. Based on this exhibition it can be predicted that this young Arab Feminist artist will have much influence and success on both the artistic landscape and in being a part of those fighting the battle to break down stereotypes in East and West.
Some of Fatima Abbadi's photography can be seen on this link
Fatima Abbadi is a Palestinian Jordanian photographer based in Italy.