An Arabic word meaning "seeing, insight, reflection," Nazar is an apt title for this multifaceted view of the Arab world seen through the eyes of fifty-six Arab and Western photographers. With essays by seven international writers, this stimulating catalog to a highly acclaimed exhibition at the Noorderlicht Festival presents the largest collection of Arab photographs ever exhibited in the West. The book is divided into three sections: "Arab Eyes," "A Look Back" (early photography in the Arab world), and "Western Eyes." The essays explore diverse facets of this rich range of imagery and introduce multiple generations of photographers - male and female - previously little known outside the Middle East. The first to survey such a variety of work, the book also provides insight into the cultural, political, social, religious, economic, and aesthetic forces that have determined the evolution of photography - both documentary and fine art - from North Africa to Lebanon and Palestine, from Egypt to Iraq, Syria, and Saudi Arabia. Ranging from passionately documentary to technically innovative to subversively banal, these images challenge preconceived views about the region.
This handsomely designed volume will be a revelation to readers around the world and a welcome introduction to an unfamiliar but increasingly vital center of photography.