Realism in Rawiya exhibition redresses how the world views the Middle East

An elderly Afghan woman holds a faded portrait of her son, killed in the Iran-Iraq war. A Palestinian woman rally driver prepares for her race, her red car surrounded by men. A child with amputated legs plays on the beach – he survived a cluster bomb.

These arresting images are among many by Rawiya, the first all-women photographic collective to emerge from the Middle East. Rawiya is currently showcasing its first major exhibition in the UK at the New Art Exchange gallery in Nottingham.

Rawiya, which means “she who tells a story” in Arabic and Farsi, is a groundbreaking group of six photographers from the Middle East: Myriam Abdelaziz, Tamara Abdul Hadi, Laura Boushnak, Tanya Habjouqa, Dalia Khamissy and Newsha Tavakolian.

Each photographer has her own distinct style, but they are connected by common themes – to tell human stories from the Middle East from women’s perspective.

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