Unspoken Conversations

Unspoken Conversations

Project Statement

As a Lebanese-born American woman and mother, my cross-cultural experiences inform my art. I have dedicated my work to exploring issues of personal and collective identity through photographs of female adolescence and womanhood– both in the United States where I live and the Middle East where I am from.

My work is autobiographical in that it follows my life and my daughters’ through the stages of growing up and growing older. This body of photographs explores womanhood at two important stages of life: adolescence and middle age. While I had been photographing teenage girls in A Girl and Her Room, pre-pubescent girls in L’Enfant-Femme, and adult women in Women Coming of Age, I found myself gradually including both mother and daughter in the same photograph.  My focus shifted from the singular individual to the collective, combining and cumulative.

Casual glances, hand gestures, subtle shifts in body language, physical closeness (or lack thereof), shared embarrassments, vulnerability, and admissions of uncertainties became the focus of the photographs. The glances and the emotions of the individual are combined within a single frame, conveying simultaneously the personal and the universality of the complex mother and daughter relationship.

I saw myself and my daughter(s) in each and in the sum of all the photographs.

In this work, like in the rest of my artistic practice, I seek to focus on our essence, our physicality, our vulnerability, on growing up and growing old – the commonalities that make us human, to emphasize underlying similarities rather than apparent differences across cultures and to ultimately find beauty in our shared humanity.