Realism in Rawiya: Photographic Stories from the Middle East

18 Feb 2015 – 11 May 2015

Event times

Wed: 10:00-18:00
F: 10:00-17:00
Closed Sundays and Mondays

Cost of entry


Impressions Gallery

Bradford, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • For further information on local bus routes and times please visit the Metro website (www.wymetro.com).
  • By rail and bus Bradford Interchange is five minutes walk away from Impressions Gallery, with rail, bus and taxi services all under one roof. Bradford Interchange is only a 20-minute direct journey from Leeds station with links to the rest of the country.

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Realism in Rawiya presents the work of Rawiya, the first all female photographic collective to emerge from the Middle East.


Realism in Rawiya presents the work of Rawiya, the first all female photographic collective to emerge from the Middle East. With a specific focus on gender and identity, the exhibition presents a thoughtful view of a region in flux, balancing its contradictions while reflecting on social and political issues and stereotypes.

Rawiya, which translates from Arabic to mean ‘she who tells a story’, is made up of artists who established their individual careers as photojournalists by working for news agencies and publications across the Arab world. By living and reporting in the region, they gained an insider’s view of the extremities of these settings, whilst also observing how their reportage could become reframed in the international media’s final edit of events.

Realism in Rawiya is rich with untold stories, from a Palestinian all-female auto racing team and transsexuals in Jerusalem, to cluster bomb survivors trying to rebuild their lives, Iranian mothers of martyrs who visit their son’s grave twice a week and parents in Lebanon who continue to wait for the 17,000 missing to come home.

The photographers see internationally newsworthy events through a local eye, resulting in a personal photographic insight into everyday life in the Middle East. Many artists in Rawiya have also lived the stories they tell, like Dalia Khamissy whose work The Missing: Lebanon (2010 – ongoing) echoes her own experience of her father’s kidnap when she was seven-years old. Artist Newsha Tavakolian states that the work of Rawiya offers ‘a way of breathing within the smothering world of censorship.’

Realism in Rawiya is a touring exhibition by New Art Exchange (NAE), Nottingham, curated by NAE and Saleem Arif Quadry.

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NAE and Saleem Arif Quadry

Exhibiting artists

Dalia Khamissy

Laura Boushnak

Myriam Abdelaziz

Tanya Habjouqa

Newsha Tavakolian

Tamara Abdul Hadi

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