‘connect to the universe’ : Saudi women artists show their work in the United States.
“Saudi Arabia is not everything is black and white,” the photographer Dina Alhamrani said, he is one of the 11 Saudi artists, his works in the Saudi embassy in Washington, dc, this week debut in an exhibition. The exhibition, known as the “women’s view,” showcases the work of visual communication students and recent graduates from Dar al-hekma university in jeddah.
Their photography, painting, graphic design, and even clothing (a “running abaya”, an athlete’s full-length cape) form an exhibition that runs through Friday. In the vision of prince Mohammed bin salman’s dynamic Saudi Arabia, this is in line with the kingdom’s efforts to portray the country as modern.
More than half of the country’s graduates are women, according to embassy spokesman Fatimah Baeshen. In recent months, Saudi women obtained in the football game and in the justice department, position and other rights and has solved the President of the university of dar es salaam Suhair al – Qurashi calls “very famous driving problem”. In September, Saudi king salman bin abdulaziz al saud lifted a ban on female participation in the country.
Saudi Arabia’s 2030 vision, economic reform and modernization program said women are “important assets”, and vowed to “develop their talents, to invest in their production capacity, enabling them to consolidate the future, contribute to our social and economic development.”
11 Dar Al – Hekma received education of artists – American photographer Linda Schaefer students – at that time, an assistant professor of – should be the son of the king of Saudi Arabia Prince Khalid bin Salman ambassador came to Washington at the invitation of the, introduce their works in the exhibition opening ceremony. The New York times described last year as “one of the best examples of the kingdom’s desire to show the type of modern Saudi government. He knows his way around Instagram, enjoys political cartoons and expresses his interest in American pop culture.
Baeshen said the ambassador was “keen to show [the artist’s work] at the embassy and support women to come and stand in their jobs and speak from the first person.”
Their teacher schaffer said: “the world know very little about women in Saudi Arabia, people have preconceived ideas about his identity, when they met face to face, they know more than they about their labels to them.”
Malath al-nemari, 23, an image graduate of the same operation, designed a series of photographs showing a veiled woman wearing a hijab in her wings, hoping to express her love for the written word. “My vision is about making people feel free, connected to the world and peaceful,” she said. “I want to represent Saudi Arabia, women in the Middle East who have been exposed to education and connected to the whole universe.”
Rana Fatami shows her “history jeddah” app, which aims to encourage tourism in the city’s historic center, the world heritage site. The app includes a pathfinder system, walking distance (which she measures by recruiting volunteers) and maps. “Google maps do not read narrow streets,” Fatami explained. “The application solves this problem, and I hope the government will adopt it.”
Bashayer Alkhayyat, a runner who created a light grey blue dress for her design, said: “I don’t want women to feel that anything is holding them back.” She also designed an app for women to find running friends so they don’t have to act alone. She says running is becoming more and more a trend among women in jeddah, but she says: “I’m still not satisfied. I want more people to run.”
Sara al-ghamdi, 24, said she hoped the photos of women in her orange headscarf would show Saudi women “strong” and “modern”.
“If they wear LIDS,” she said, women “feel shy, just like they don’t follow their dreams, even if you cover your hair, I also want to tell them, this would not stop your dream.”