Join photographers Reem Falaknaz and Lara Chahine in conversation for an artist talk around their new group exhibition Swallow This! Arab Women and Body Politics and their respective art practices. Currently on view at GPP are over 40 of their works in photography and digital media. Chahine and Falaknaz are also alumnae of the Arab Documentary Photography Program, which is supported by the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, Prince Claus Fund and Magnum Foundation.
Unpacking the many manifestations of "erotic capital", the photographers reflect on the surreal, grotesque, humorous and charged visuals associated with the everyday body politics of Arab women. Chahine and Falaknaz will be speaking in depth about their respective practices and how they came to produce the projects presented in the exhibition.
In Bless Your Beauty, Lebanon-based photographer Lara Chahine explores the pressure to attain ‘sacred’ beauty ideals, at any cost —physical, emotional, and financial. As part of her first major photo series, Chahine’s expansive work covers the personal stories of women in Lebanon told during and after the October revolution, the pandemic and the Beirut blast. Chahine documents and presents the fraught urban landscape that produces these stories.
In Reem Falaknaz’s If a hymen breaks and no one hears it, the UAE/Oman-based photographer presents research into hymen repair remedies, documenting conversations with muftis, herbalists, sheikhs, doctors, and sorcerers. Falaknaz’s final product is a digital media project that appropriates internet culture, print media, literature, and oral history to shed light on the covert ways that women must navigate socioreligious practices, herbalism, sorcery, and medical malpractice.
GPP Talks with Reem Falaknaz & Lara Chahine will begin at 9PM Dubai time (UTC/GMT +4) on Wednesday, 6 April 2022.
About the speakers
Lara Chahine is a self-taught photographer from North Lebanon and is currently based between Beirut and New York. Focusing first on academia and earning a degree in political science, it wasn’t until much later that she considered photography in parallel to politics. She learned how to click a shutter and how to visually convey her surroundings during Lebanon’s October Revolution. Her project completed during the Arab Documentary Photography Program, Bless Your Beauty, is her first long-term documentary project and the starting point for her career as an image maker.
Reem Falaknaz is an artist and photographer documenting the social and physical landscape of the UAE and its inhabitants. In 2014, she took part in the Arab Documentary Photography Program that is funded by the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, the Prince Claus Fund, and Magnum Foundation. Her commissions include UAE's National Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale, and 2020 Lahore Biennale.