Hoda Afshar / Under Western Eyes / April 02 – May 03 2014
Under Western Eyes is a series of digitally manipulated photographs, criticizing the continual representation of Islamic women in the contemporary art world as veiled, subjugated and suppressed. The veil—seen as a sort of forced enclosure—has become the dominant mode of representing Islamic women in the West. And veiled women are often portrayed as a homogeneous group; powerless subjects whose veil serves either as a symbol and tool of oppression, or is celebrated as an exotic commodity. As such, the images of Muslim women have been reduced to easily decodable stereotypes; mass-produced and parcelled for Western audiences as a consumer item. In this series, Hoda emphasises the reductive interpretation of the identity of Muslim women in the West and praising of such imagery as an attitude bound up with aspects of exoticism.
Hoda Afshar is a visual artist and photographer based in Melbourne, Australia.Hoda finished a Bachelor degree in Fine Art – Photography at Azad University of Art and Architecture in Tehran and began her career as a documentary photographer. She is currently a PhD candidate at the department of Art at Curtin University, and lecturer at the Photography Studies College. In 2006 Hoda was selected by ‘World Press Photo’ as one of the top ten young documentary photographers of Iran to attend their Educational training program. Hoda has also been exhibiting locally and internationally since 2007 and has been shortlisted for prestigious photography awards such as the Moran Contemporary Photographic Prizes (2012) and the Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Prize (2013).
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