Autonomy of Self


Friday 11 th September – Saturday 31st October 2015


Curator: Joy Stacey

Artists: Moufida Fedhila, Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, Šejla Kamerić, Aremenoui Kasparian Saraidari, Sadik Kwaish Alfraji, Nadia Mounier & Joy Stacey


Rejecting violence with the lens in former Ottoman territories


Autonomy of Self brings together moving image and photography from across the former Ottoman territories to explore how individuals are using the human image to refuse violence and conflict. Each artist has faced the consequences of the collapse of the Empire and the destruction from international interventions, and the implications of this destabilization resonates in the identity and actions of these countries today.

Using this geo-political model, Autonomy of Self responds to Azoulay’s Civil Contract of Photography (MIT Press, 2008), in which she writes that photography creates its own civil citizenry, outside of nation or state, in which any individual can gain representation as a citizen through their image. This exhibition expands upon Azoulay’s ideas to explore the image in all its complex forms of production and address to its viewers.

The works in Autonomy of Self look not just at the moment when the image is created but also at how the image is planned, performed, manipulated and exhibited to create visual representation where political representation is absent.



Symposium with the artists

The exhibiting artists will come together to discuss their work and the complexities of representing those living within conflict.

This event will be hosted by the Photography and the Archive Research Centre (PARC), and be chaired by Max Houghton at Central St Martins on 15 October.


Film Screenings

Three viewings of Sejla Kameric's remarkable film 1395 Days Without Red will be screened courtesy of Artangel, and a programme of acclaimed cinema and documentary will be free to the public during the exhibition.


Public Talks

A series of talks will take place in the gallery, including award-winning author Louis de Bernières reading from Birds Without Wings, the panel discussion ‘Memories of Beirut and Tunis: Transformed Cities and the Family Album’ and Nouritza Matossian presenting her documentary Heart of Two Nations: Hrant D



The exhibition is supported by the Art Council England