Lalla Essaydi

Keynote Address: Gender, Power and Tradition
November 2, 2017

By re-visiting and re-interrogating the Arab female body, Lalla Essaydi traces and maps a history often coded in misunderstanding. Through her photographs, she hopes to suggest the complexity of Arab female identity, as she has known it, and the tension between hierarchy and fluidity that are at the heart of Arab culture. Essaydi does not intend for her work to be simply a mere critique of either Arab or Western culture. She goes beyond simple critique to a more active, even subversive, engagement with cultural patterns to convey her own experience as an Arab woman.