We are pleased to announce the 3 final winners of our photography contest "Powerful Women: Breaking Stereotypes in the Euro-Mediterranean Region". These 3 women will participate in a workshop at the 8th International Congress of Feminist Research in the Francophonie (CIRFF2018), between 26 and 31 of August 2018 at the University Paris-Nanterre (France). Their photos and stories, which you can see below, will be displayed along with those of the 7 other finalists of our contest and we will broadcast their work throughout this year.
You can find the 10 finalists participations in the attached document.
Author: Nassima Baziz
Location of the photograph: Algiers (Algeria)
December 28, 2017. In a Haussmann building in downtown Algiers, a dozen women meet to end a year of activism around a contemporary dance workshop. On that day, these women were my heroines. They are members of the feminist film club of Algiers and they work in the shadows to give women the opportunity to express themselves through different activities. The site houses art exhibitions and a feminist library and hosts vernissages. It also serves as a screening of the feminist film club of Algiers. But the objective of this particular day of December is not to fight against anything or anyone but to acknowledge a woman. Meriem B. is an Algerian dancer who immigrated to Montreal more than a decade ago and, on December 28 2017, she had the opportunity to teach her first dance class in Algeria, to her Algerian fellow women. Her childhood dream had become her womanhood reality. Her emotion was palpable; she transmitted it to us. The photograph tries to highlight several subjects: the will of anonymity of these young women dictates the angle, but what I tried to expose through this work were the movements and dynamics of this group of women in an immutable space. On the background, photographs of Leila Saadna’s exhibition "Women and Liberation" can be spotted. What was initially a constraint becomes the very essence of this picture: all of us are anonymous women. They have no face, and yet they move and make things happen.
Author: Fatima Essabar
Location of the photograph: Rabat (Morocco)
This portrait is a tribute to an inspiring activist woman born in 1975 that has engaged herself in different acts of civil disobedience for women, human, LGBT rights, society’s gender stereotypes and the patriarchy in Morocco. Betty Lachgar co-founded with a friend the Alternative Movement for Individual Liberties (M.A.L.I.), an universalist, feminist and secular movement which aims to defend human rights and individual liberties in Morocco. Since the movement’s launching she has led several actions and has been arrested many times. She has been physically and sexually assaulted by three policemen, she has been a victim of cyber harassment, and has received death threats. On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25th of November 2017), she denounced sexism and violence against women by pouring a red dye into the city of Rabat’s public fountains to which the authorities responded by condemning her action and opening an investigation right after M.A.L.I’s press release. Her symbolic action was a warning call to Moroccan society to take immediate action regarding violence against women. Turning this performance into a photograph was the greatest concept that I could ever think of as a tribute to this powerful woman, holding the date of the action and the date when she received the police’s convocation called “Without permission”.
Author: Nora Noor
Location of the photograph: Brussels (Belgium)
After performing her play called "Jogging" on stage, Hanane Hajj Ali received me in her hotel room in Brussels. When you meet her, you immediately feel her mental and physical force. She is a woman who thinks of herself as an "artivist" and her play tells the story of a woman running in the streets of Beirut while observing this changing city and her body that no longer carries the same energy. She also shares her fantasies. A veiled theater actress who talks about her fantasies on stage is something quite natural to Hanane Hajj Ali. Born in Lebanon, she studied theater and kept it a secret from her parents for years, her grandmother being the only one who knew about it. Now, she goes on stage and covers her hair, also as a way to pay tribute to the strong woman that was her grandmother. Through this piece of cloth, Hanane wants to tear down the veils that are in front of our eyes and push us towards ignorance. She breaks taboos; speaks openly on stage about sex, politics and religion. The conversation with Hanane was so rich that her picture had to be very symbolic. Her portrait illustrates hope and her fierce appetite for learning, transmitting her art and living. Encouraging audiences to participate in cultural life and education for a better world is the daily challenge of the great actress that is Hanane Hajj Ali.
This platform is part of the Axis 1 "Strengthening the capacities of equality actors" of the Priority Solidarity Fund "Women for the future in the Mediterranean" funded by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and led by the European Institute of the Mediterranean, in the framework of the project “Developing Women's Empowerment” labelled by the Union for the Mediterranean.