Thought-Provoking Photographs Depict Female Faces of Freedom

By - Aimée Horwich

Source - Entertainment4media

A brand new exhibition, opening in London next month, will explore the relationship between freedom, beauty and the hijab.

Azeri artist, Alexandra Kremer-Khomassouridze's Faces of Freedom photographic series, depicts 50 women from around the world – from different nationalities, backgrounds and professions – and explores their perception of identity in relation to wearing the hijab.

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The fascinating, black and white exhibition, which portrays the women in their own clothes and then wearing a hijab, opens at Asia House on 3 February and runs as part of London's second Buta Festival – a celebration of Azerbaijani arts and culture.

Curated by Farah Pirieva, the photographs explore the veil, which has become a hot topic of international debate and controversy. Kremer-Khomassouridze's work embraces the complexity of the issue and the before and after-type images are moving and intimate.

Alexandra said: “No one left my studio the same. Our conversations had a lasting effect on each of the ladies. The complexity of the process was amazing. Some of my models cried and claimed never to wear a hijab again, others responded exactly the opposite, telling me, that they always will.”

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The international photographer, who left Azerbaijan in 1989, was inspired to capture the photographs upon returning to the country's capital, Baku, in 2011.

“When I left Azerbaijan the hijab was in decline, particularly among younger women who preferred to wear jeans and mini skirts as a sign that they were embracing a new ideology of multiculturalism.

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“When I returned, I was astonished to see young Azeri women choosing to wear the hijab again. I felt like I had discovered a new Baku, full of interesting contrasts where freedom could look different to different people. Faces of Freedom, is my way of interpreting and exploring these differences - the freedom to wear a hijab and the freedom not to wear it.”

Faces of Freedom runs at Asia House from the 3- 15 February 2015.

The 2015 Buta Festival provides a window to the Azeri Arts in London, offering unique insights into a country that is arousing our curiosity.  For further information about the festival, visit www.butafestival.com. Updates about all things Buta can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – butafestival.

2 Comments

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