Women: Navigating Presence and Absence

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The third edition of the project ‘Power of the Word’ culminates in an installation in the Islamic East Gallery that explores the voices of women in this museum space.

Where are women in the Islamic East Gallery? And how do they exist here? These seemingly simple questions have never been contemplated and spurred a new feminist reading of the Collection. By abandoning the traditional frame of imperial categories, which has long emphasized male hereditary dynasties (Safavids, Mughals, Ottomans), this project sought to recover the voices of the women who made and used these objects, or who had a role in their existence.

Through collaborative research and storytelling, a group of women speaking different languages (Arabic, Persian, Turkish and Portuguese) came together to create new and empowering narratives, ranging from Eve and the Original Sin to Herstory, Women’s Art and Craft, and the Body, explored here.

The participants also brought their own narratives into play during the project, by sharing their own life stories, poems and works of art. They converse about their experiences in a special podcast, accompanied by an online interactive with images and scholarly, personal and imaginary texts.


Project and Podcast


Where are women in the Islamic East gallery?

The power of storytelling

Eve, the Original Sin?


Women’s craft or women’s art?

The body

Complementary Programs

Other ways of thinking and doing
Participative feminist curatorship: the project Power of the Word and the exhibition Women: Navigating presence and absence
Friday, 24 September, 16:00

In the context of the European Heritage Days: Heritage: All Inclusive

Art and Feminisms of the Middle East
With Shahd Wadi, Abdelkader Damani, Rose Issa and Giulia Lamoni / In English 
Tue, 8 mar 2022, 17:00

More info

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