The Smithsonian presents “My Iran: Six Women Photographers”

“My Iran: Six Women Photographers” will be on view at the Smithsonian’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery August 10 until February 9, 2020. It is the latest in the museum’s ongoing exhibition series of contemporary Asian photography. Drawn from the museum’s growing collections, the works of these six female photographers, Hengameh Golestan, Newsha Tavakolian, Malekeh Nayiny, Shadi Ghadirian, Mitra Tabrizian and Gohar Dashti, explore Iranian culture and gives insights into the country’s life to American audiences.

The works span a period of some 40 years, from the early days of the Iranian Revolution to the present, and offer a female perspective from inside and outside Iran. Sharing a visually poetic sensibility but diverse in scale and format—some images are documentary, others are staged or manipulated—the photographs acknowledge the past and confront the present and capture the photographers’ complex relationship to their country of birth.

Although all six photographers explore timely and universal issues of loss, alienation and separation, their works still convey a subtle sense of hope and anticipation.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of public programs that include conversations with some of the artists, as well as lectures and discussions on the role and impact of Iranian women in film, poetry and fiction.

Image: Untitled series, Shadafarin Ghadirian, 1999, Gelatin silver print, Purchase—Smithsonian Unrestricted Trust Funds.