Brigitte Lacombe presents her new series Arab Women in Sport – depicting Arab female athletes somewhere between tradition and modernity. It is at times like these, when the Olympics are all over the media, that we realise how sport is so much more than simply sport. It becomes clear how much it influences our perception and can cross borders.
Would we want ourselves, or our little sisters, to walk out of the house in a beach volley ballerina G-string outfit? Hm, generally speaking probably not. Or would we want to see the light athletics guys, cyclists and swimmers in their Lycra sports outfits on the beach. No we don’t have penis envy, and we have nothing against full hair removal … it is simply a question of perspectives, function – and of course personal choice.
Brigitte’s images work with the exact opposite. Her photos support the idea of greater freedom for souls who are usually confined to restrictive clothing. The images were photographed at the Pre-Olympics in Dohar last year. Her subjects included basketballerinas and swimmers from Quatar, as well as Saudi-Arabian show jumper Dalma Malhas.
Brigitte comments ‘the young girls and women athletes we met were spirited and full of joy. For them to arrive at this level of excellence requires extreme determination to overcome resistance––not only cultural, but economic and political.’ A film by her sister Marian is also being shown alongside Brigitte’s photos at Sotheby's.
Hey’Ya in Arab roughly translates into ‘let's go,’ - Brigitte says: ‘I hope it will help to open some minds. It could end up being an important project, one I will continue to work on.’
Hey’Ya: Arab Women in Sport
by Brigitte Lacombe and Marian Lacombe
until August 11
traveling to the Q.M.A. Gallery in Doha, Qatar, Spring 2013