Rawiya: Panel Discussion

In Her Absence I Created Her Image | Press Release | On WideWalls | On Broadly. | Artist Website | Panel Discussion | On Livestream

May 12, 2016

Tamara Abdul Hadi, from the series "Picture an Arab Man"

Tamara Abdul Hadi, from the series “Picture an Arab Man”

Presented in conjunction with Rawiya’s exhibit In Her Absence I Created Her Image, this panel discussion will explore representations of individuals in the Middle East.

Photography has played a major role in building a global image of society. Often we focus on Western representations of various Middle Eastern people and in doing so we miss a vital perspective and are often given inaccurate representations. Moderator James Wellford and panelists Myriam Abdelaziz, Tamara Abdul Hadi, Laura Boushnak, Tanya Habjouqa and Alia Malek will examine the stereotypes that unfairly place a diverse group of people who practice religion differently, who dress differently, who speak different forms of Arabic, and who have different cultural traditions, into overgeneralized categories.

James Wellford is a photography editor, producer, curator, and educator based in Brooklyn, New York. He is currently the Editorial Director of Visura. His collaborative work with photographers has received top honors at the Overseas Press Club, World Press Photo, POYi, American Photo, Visa Pour L’image, PX 3, and NPPA. He curates photography and multimedia shows that address topical issues in the world including most recently: American Photography (Photographic Museum of Humanity), Remembering Liberia (Photoville 2013) and Iraq 10 Years (VII Gallery). James is on the advisory board of the Photobook Museum and the organization Social Documentary Network and is the co-founder of two groups: ScreenProjects and SeenUnseen that are working on ways to create, support, and deliver powerful visual and narrative stories around the world. For 12 years he was the International Photo Editor at Newsweek Magazine. James is a Knight Wallace Fellow from the University of Michigan and a contributing photo editor to Smithsonian Journeys, Foreign Policy and CNN.

Alia Malek is a journalist and civil rights lawyer. She is the author of A Country Called Amreeka: US History Re-Told Through Arab American Lives. Her reportage has appeared in several places including the New York Times, The Nation, the Christian Science Monitor, Jadaliyya, McSweeneys, and Guernica.In April 2011, she moved to Damascus, Syria and wrote anonymously for several outlets from inside the country as it began to disintegrate. She returned to the US in May 2013 for the launch of Al Jazeera America, where she was Senior Writer until October 2015. She is currently the Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute and at work on a narrative non-fiction book about Syria, a memoir of family, house, and country.

Rawiya, meaning she who tells a story, is the first all-female photography collective from the Middle East, and it focuses on raising visibility of female Arab photographers as well as presents an insider view of the region. The photographers, including Myriam Abdelaziz, Tamara Abdul Hadi, Laura Boushnak, and Tanya Habjouqa, combat Western stereotypes of the Middle East. The collective’s photography counters these stereotypes through depictions of an all female auto-racing team, the pleasures of daily life even in the face of political turmoil and occupation, the vibrant gay community of Beirut, portraits breaking down the hyper masculine image of the Arab man as well as portraits of empowered Middle Eastern Muslim women.

on view now

2018 Exhibitions

In 2018, exhibits at Open Source will encourage conversation about and engagement with diverse global perspectives through art. Through solo exhibitions, artists will involve our community in global-scale issues and explore the impacts of these problems locally and internationally. Through solo and curated group exhibitions featuring local, national and international artists, we will explore themes […]


2018 Exhibitions
In Practice: KoKo NYC Teaching Artist Exhibition
Pirmin Hagen and Christine Katscher: hand luggage
Tomás Rivas
Matthew Jensen
Xyza Bacani
Betty Yu
Khaled Jarrar
Immy Mali


Soup Kitchen 2017
2017 Exhibitions
Kimberly Mayhorn: Transcend
Reimagining Tradition
The Fire Theory: ICE
Sana Obaid: دیوار | De-war | Wall
10th Annual South Slope Derby
Andrew Snyder: 9 Meditations
Francesco Simeti: Swell
Liinu Grönlund: It could have been
The Middle Passage
Soup Kitchen 2016
2016 Exhibitions
Another Space: Permanent Construction
i Collective: Once Upon Unfolding Times
Dimensions Variable: Multidisciplinary
South Slope Derby 2016
Boa Mistura: Spread Love, It’s The Brooklyn Way
SiTE:LAB: Nothing Is Destroyed
guerilla-art.mx: Transgression
Rawiya: In Her Absence I Created Her Image
HAI: Sole Exchange
Videokaffe: Para-sites & Proto-types
Prosjektrom Normanns: Transcendental Tactility
/rive: Anamorphosis
Soup Kitchen 2015
Mira Gaberova: Statue of Everything
Savas Boyraz: Back Drop
Cristian Bors & Marius Ritiu: Venus von Hamburg
Soap Box Derby 2015
Sara Morawetz: How the Stars Stand
Whitney Lynn: Rummage
Yun-Woo Choi: Endless, Seamless
Jasmine Murrell: Some Impossibility Without A Name
Tirtzah Bassel: I Want To Hold You Close
B. David Walsh: Extracted Bedroom Project
Lena Lapschina: Yes/No
Soup Kitchen 2014
Sofia Szamosi: Eat Me
Corina Reynolds: Northwestern Expansion