As part of the Festival of Photography there is a stunning thought provoking exhibition of photographs by Sharifa Karimi in the Becroft Gallery in the Lakehouse Arts Centre in Takapuna called 'Hasti ? Are you there. Hastam. I am here."
Sharifa Karimi aims to create a discussion around the circumstances of women who are struggling for basic rights because of the traditionalism of their culture. Her work manifests the core of this issue. “I consider my process both analytical and intuitive. Analytical, because I examine the women’s rights issues in Asian countries and intuitive because I use my own knowledge and experience to draw upon."
Karimi explores gender equality in the roles of men and women in several different countries. Most importantly she highlights the extent and intensity of the cruelty many women go through on a daily basis. “It makes me extremely sad that these women live their whole lives as victims and the cycle continues with the next generation”
From her standpoint, although she has physically left her childhood home, the memories of the culture, the environment, and the people she was surrounded by have become part of her identity. Because of her circumstances she has been able to see the treatment of women from both a Middle Eastern and a Western point of view.
This project is personally important to Karimi because she came from a part of the world where domestic abuse has become a norm. “Photography helps me make this reality known to people in Westernized cultures. I hope that, through my art I can give a voice to women and girls around the world who are being married as children or trafficked into forced labour and sex slavery.”
In the countries that Karimi has included in her project such as Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, women have had no significant role in society. Although in some of these countries women are being given more rights and freedom with the progression of time, the issue of women’s rights is nowhere near to being resolved.
Part of the Auckland Festival of Photography
The exhibition runs from Wednesday June 2016-Sunday 26 June 2016.