In the Studio with Ghada Amer: Works in Progress, Feminist Themes

“The text in this work means ‘You have to raise your head up, and don’t give in to any force that would take you backward’. It’s from a very famous Egyptian feminist, Nawal El Saadawi. Then I have another one from FEMEN, a group of Ukrainian women who are very political. They were in Ukraine trying to protest something, and then there was this journalist who told them, ‘oh, you know, nobody cares about women unless they are naked.’ So they told the journalist, ‘so you mean if we are naked tomorrow here, protesting the same thing, you will come and photograph us?’ He said ‘yes’. So what they did is they were naked and they wrote all over their [bodies] ...and of course they had tons of publicity, all over the world, and then they decided to merge [being] political with nudity. And a lot of people hated them because of that, but I think it’s effective, it makes a point—‘What’s my body? You want to see it? Okay, see it. Are you over it now?’ You know what I mean?”— Ghada Amer

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Photographs by Alec Bastian

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