Thursday, January 23, 2014

She Who Tells A Story Museum of Fine Arts Boston

She who tells a story is an exhibit that gives meaning to the phrase "pictures can speak a thousand words". That through art the unspoken can be spoken, the silenced are given voices, and stories are brought to life in the most poetic and touching of forms. I was so impressed with this exhibit. I'm always impressed when women create art. It's a voice I feel doesn't get heard enough. I think every single woman has a story to share, through her own unique experiences in life.

I went to see this exhibit on two occasions. The first with my dear friend Maria, the founder of a very beautiful non-profit Found in Translation (shameless plug) and the second when I went back to see the Hippie Chic exhibit and stopped by again to get one last glimpse. I had some mixed feelings about it the first time and second time I was just absolutely in love. Sadly it's no longer being shown at the MFA in Boston but the exhibit will be traveling to different places across the world. Pictured below is some of the pieces that caught my eye.

Featured artists throughout this post in the order they are shown.
Shadi Ghadirian - Untitled
Lalla Assia Essaydi, Bullet Revisited
Shirin Neshat- Mystified
Rania Matar


When you go to see any type of art, sometimes you have to take off your cap of judgement and leave it at the door to fully take in the experience. As I walked through taking in the images, many of the more political pieces relating to veiled women made me feel sad and angry. Limitations and restrictions on women just really, really bother me. Oppression in any form, being social, political or religious should not be tolerated anywhere and in any form. Other pieces made me reflect on war and how it changes society and the life of the common person.  Lalla Assaydi's piece called bullet showed the "exotic" middle eastern woman adorned with what looks like sequence, but upon further inspection are actually bullets. It touches on the idea of women often being the victims during times of war.

The piece I connected to most was Rania Matar's series of middle eastern girls in their rooms. She hit the nail on the head in my opinion. I can relate to the complexities of being a middle eastern, Muslim, woman in the US and the constant push and pull to conform from two extremes. The feeling that you never quite belong. I think that's what the rooms represent to me. The space where they can just be themselves whatever that encompasses. I also studied sociology in college and did my senior work on the identity of Muslim youth in America so this stuff is always sooo interesting to me.

Overall, I really enjoyed the exhibit. Each piece stirred my thoughts, and made me reflect. I think when art does that, it has done it's job. I hope that it brought another view of the middle east and it's women who are often depicted as "oppressed" and voiceless. These women, and many that I encounter in my personal life, are bold, courageous, and have important things to say about the state of women and the world. I was blown away by the level of artistic expression and it has inspired my own work in many ways. It was just one of those exhibits that gave me goosebumps!

If you're wanting to get more of an idea of the show from he perspective of the artists, I also enjoyed reading this article:


  1. Another great post. And I can relate to everything you said in this post.
    I feel the very same way that you do about limitations on women. Every time I see someone try to put limitations on women or tell them they can't do something it always bugs me.
    And you are right about how oppression in any form is something that shouldn't be tolerated. I am totally with you on that.
    I also agree on how hard it must be for Muslim women in the US. When I see them and they look towards me I always give them an extra big smile because I want them to feel welcome here and like they belong.
    And you're right, they certainly are very strong women and filled with courage. I admire them. They deserve a lot of respect.
    I am glad that you got to see this exhibit and that you shared the photos and the experience here on your blog. I really enjoyed reading this post and seeing the photos.
    Have a great night!!
    Peace, Love and Blessings,

    1. Thank you for your thoughtful comment as always! It makes me so happy to hear that you try to make others feel welcome and accepted. I'm sure it has made a big difference in their world. Much love!

    2. You are very welcome!! It is important to me that they feel welcome and that they know that there are people who admire them. Have a great weekend, enjoy, and know that you are creating so much beauty and splendor with all that you do. :)
      Much Love,

  2. I wish I could've seen this exhibit. So many layers and stories, so many questions, and so many women I want to hear, all beautiful.

    1. Ya it was overload for me but I really enjoyed hearing from other women through their art. It was beyond surreal!


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