Palestinian photographer, Laura Boushnak was announced winner of the Terry O’Neill Photography Award 2013 with her portraiture series (I Read I Write: Yemen-Access to Education) portraying Yemen women and their thirst for education. The series won 1st place over street violence in latin America, broadline of gender, landscape, wildlife and documentary of Bolivian airline.
Known for her mind-triggering work, Boushnak tells a story in every photo she takes focusing on women’s and children issues; lighting a bulb on their dreams in suppressing regimes. (I Read I Write: Yemen-Access to Education) is part of an ongoing series I Read I Write which explores the role of literacy in the enrichment of Arab women’s lives, the series was conducted in Kuwait, Jordan, Egypt, Tunis and finally Yeman which won the international award.
(I Read I Write: Yemen-Access to Education) tell a story of Yemen women who are the first in their families to pursue higher education despite of the judgemental society they live in that downgrades women and seize them with retarded traditions and believes that a woman’s place is her husband’s home and kitchen. Boushnak explains:
“A Yemeni proverb says “A girl leaves the house only twice, to her husband and her grave”, but for the Yemeni women in the following series of portraits, the only way to go against this belief is through higher education, despite the staggering odds they’re faced with. With the help of Yero NGO, I photographed women, who were the first members in their families to pursue higher education. They spoke about their achievements and challenges, in an ultra-conservative society, where many believe that women are destined for marriage to protect their chastity and their role is solely in the home.”
Boushnak portrays women wearing traditional custom famous in the Gulf countries; Abaya (long black flowy dress covers head and body) and Niqab (a black piece covers face except eyes) in black background with no makeup. Each one of them writes her dream, ambition, opinion, what they love but can’t have… One of them wrote:
“Many men proposed to marry me but I refused! I want to finish my education to face ruthlessness of the future”
Al Mahha Art wants to congratulate the hard-working and well deserved artist, Laura Boushnak, for her endless efforts to cascade humanitarian messages through lense of art, emphasizing the importance of art’s role in awareness and elaborate of individual and society.
For more information on artist, click here.
About The Terry O’Neill Photography Award
The Terry O’Neill Photography Award is in its 8th year and is recognised as one of the world’s leading photographic awards attracting thousands of entries each year. This year we are taking the Award to the next level to make it the most innovative, accessible and valuable photography prize, providing the winners and runners-ups with levels of publicity that set a new benchmark for other photography awards.
For more information: http://www.oneillaward.com/