Saudi Tales of Love is a photographic journey through hidden dreams and stories of women who live in Saudi Arabia, one of the most closed societies in the world. Courageous choices, marriages and divorces, difficult personal experiences. The photographer Tasneem Alsultan explores these themes through stories of women decided to go beyond the taboos and the dictates of the society.
SAUDI TALES OF LOVE
by Tasneem Alsultan
mostra fotografica / photography exhibition
Fondazione Studio Marangoni – Via San Zanobi, 32r
8 April – 13 May (Hours: Mon-Sat | 10.00 / 1.oopm | 3.00 / 7.00pm) – free entrance
Opening: Saturday, April 8th / 6.00 pm
“Do we need marriage to signify that we have love? Do you need a husband to have a significant life?
My project, began as a personal venture. With my marriage at the age of 17, and being a mother of two children at the age of 21, I knew I would surface in some way as a character exploring concepts of love and marriage in Saudi. But my teenage diary seemed to be a redline that I resisted bringing into the story. For the last 12 years, I blamed my marriage on my parents. I repeatedly questioned how they allowed me to marry at the age of 17, and why they never supported my need for a divorce later on. I saw myself as being alone. But I was inspired by the empowered cross section of Saudi women who opened up their lives to me, and I finally faced my diary. So out came my dairies of the age of ten, and sixteen. Funny enough, I wrote in that personal journal till a few weeks before my marriage. I wrote how worried my parents were. And how my father was very skeptical of this young man. I was sixteen when my ex-husband proposed, and my pages were filled with stories of my teenage angst against my mother. I saw how I used the escape of her motherly love, as an escape to the arms of a man I didn’t know… Hence, I wanted to be Shahrazad in a 1001 Arabian nights. A story teller of other misfortunes and romantic endings. I followed the stories of a widow, a happy marriage, twice divorced, and that of a young child—to name a few. I also delved into the many gems I shot from my wedding photography business in Saudi (with permission from my clients). I see the irony in being a divorced wedding photographer. But nevertheless, it was through these stories and from reading my own diary, that the project as a whole, gave me a sense of closure.”