Photo Students View Exhibit that Responds to and Reflects Political Upheaval in the Middle East

FWCD photography classes visited the Fort Worth Contemporary Arts, part of the Art Galleries at TCU, to view the show RAWIYA: We Do Not Choose Our Dictators.  Sara-Jayne Parsons, the curator of the exhibition, spoke to each class about these Middle Eastern photographers.

Translated from Arabic as “She who tells a story,” RAWIYA originally formed in 2009 as an all-female photography collective. By sharing resources and networks, the members expand the reach of their work, which energetically engages in an international dialogue around human rights and social justice. As a group of documentary photographers from across the Middle East, often with day jobs in journalism or a commercial context, the members use the platform of the collective to investigate social and political stories they feel are invisible, and as a means to explore more personal creative practices. 

The collective's first exhibition in Texas, RAWIYA prsented works by Myriam Abdelaziz, Tamara Abdul Hadi, Tasneem Alsultan, Laura Boushnak, Tanya Habjouqa and new collective members Ghaith Abdul-Ahad and Zied Ben Romdhane.

We Do Not Choose Our Dictators features a selection of photographic works by RAWIYA that respond to and reflect the daily lives of people affected by political upheaval in the Middle East. In attempting to negotiate, document and understand a swiftly changing social landscape, the photographers present new ways of seeing. Often their investigations employ humor and irony, while at other times their work is emotive and controversial. Collectively their photographs reveal subtleties of contemporary life in the Middle East that are surprising and life-affirming.
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Fort Worth Country Day (FWCD) is a K-12 private, independent, coeducational, nondenominational college-preparatory school located on approximately 100 acres in Fort Worth, Texas. The mission of Fort Worth Country Day School is to foster the intellectual, physical, emotional, and ethical development of capable students through an academically rigorous college preparatory program that integrates the arts and athletics.