Country of birth
Country of residence
Born in Tehran, Iran, in 1982, Naghmeh Navabi has been living and working in London since 2012 / Naghmeh's practice revolved around the notion of feminism and women identity / She uses photography and found images as her source material / Naghmeh’s works are often inspired by her roota and her memory back in her motherland, Iran / “A home no longer mine" series is her response to the recent events in Iran about compulsory hijab were Iranian women risk their lives to fight for their freedom / They feel exile in their own country and some of them need to leave their homeland / Freedom always has a price /
• BA photography at London College of Communication, UAL, 2015-2018
• BTEC Level 4 HNC in Photography, City of Westminster College, London 2014-2015
• Diploma in Architecture and Interior Design, Technology of Institute Tehran, Tehran 2003-2004
• Bachelor Degree of Art in Painting, Tehran Suoreh University, Tehran 2000-2003
• Graphic Design Diploma, Tehran 1996-2000
2015 Rapid Eye Movement, Group exhibition, 5th Base Gallery, UK
2016 Photography Now, Group exhibition, The Brick Lane Gallery, UK
2016 Barcelona International Art Fair, Spain
2017 The Other Art Fair, London, UK
2018 Mall Galleries, Group exhibition, London, UK
2018 CICA Museum, Korea
2018 Art511, Eminent Domain Exhibition, New York
2018 Beyond the Camera, Pingyao International Photography Festival, China
2018 Royal Opera Arcade (ROA) Gallery, London, UK
2019 RPS Bristol
2019 Midlands Arts Center, Birmingham 30 March 12 May
2019 Royal Albert Hall, London 22 May to 23 Jun
2019 Municipal Gallery, Dublin 5 July to 4 September
2019 HIP Festival, Hull 4 October to 27 October
2015 See Me Exposure Awards, Exhibited in Louvre Museum, France
2015 See Me Exposure Awards, Exhibited in Scoop Miami Beach, USA
2016 MIFA Moscow international foto awards, Russia
2016 The Sixth Annual Exposure Award, UK
2016 Prix de la Photographie Paris Award
2017 Columbia Threadneedle Prize 2018
2018 winner of the photofusion, UK
2018 The Royal Photography Society, RPS International Photography Exhibition 161, UK
2018 Organ Vida 18 festival, Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb, Croatia
2018 shortlisted for Passion for Freedom Festival, UK
2015 Photo published in STORIES WITHIN IMAGES
2015 Photo published in THE EXPOSURE AWARD
2017 Photo published in “Imitation of Life”, Loosen Art
Recently Iran had a quietest protest ever witnessed. A thirty-one-year-old mother of a toddler, stood on a large utility box on Tehran’s busy Street and removed her scarf that all women are required to wear by law. Her black hair cascaded far down her back. She then tied her white scarf to a stick, and silently waved it like a flag. She stood there waving, alone, for an hour.
Other young women, either individually or in small groups, began to follow her rout, posting their pictures on social media and generating news hashtags #girls-enghelab- street. “Enghelab” means “revolution” in Farsi. The street was renamed after the 1979 uprising against the monarchy, after the women’s protests it took on a new meaning.
This event was really inspiring me and leads me to examination of identity, gender issues and exploration of femininity in the face of Islamic cultural codes and patriarchy society. Using female body as a metaphor of home and motherland. I have mixed found images that relation to history and my family photograph for collages, to create autobiographical semi-fiction narrative which are linked to the theme of sense of femininity, freedom and separation.
In this series “A home, no longer mine” I am trying to visually show different generations and their response to hijab and the way of dreaming about their future. It’s about the moment which truth is revealed and something eternal is trapped. some dizziness and silent or maybe awakens in this moment. As if they all trapped in their own home and feel exiled. I don’t want to see them as a victim, although they are working hard to change their situation. I have used one frame for two different images to prove the division between two places, due to the parallel life that Middle Eastern women have.
One of the photo was taken at the roof of my parent’s apartment in Tehran. There is a woman wearing black chador and looking at the city but she wants to scape, as if she stocked there. There is a relation between the mountain and the stones in photo beside it. And conflict between the hair and hijab.
Another portrait is a young lady with closing eyes, dreaming about her future. This generation in Iran has a vague future. They don’t have any positive destiny or utopian country in future, however regardless of the mentioned facts they are fighting for their freedom.
I have used hair as a metaphor of femininity and freedom. Hijab is intended to protect women’s bodies from becoming the sexualized object of male gaze, but in my opinion it also help women from being seen at all. Objectifying women’s body implies ownership and control. The reason of using object and hair in my still life is because of the hair is not just relating to aesthetic characterization, but could portray the social and moral position of the woman and also I want to raise the question of; are objects the things that we own and control? So is Hijab one of the reasons for Islamic country to control woman and not let them to have identity?
My homeland Iran has a confined society mixed with Islamic traditions but with a rich cultural and historical past. Most Iranians feel separation from the society and regime, between religious and freedom, between men and women. Separation is like a melancholy, like a depression, it is difficult to confess. sometimes I confuse where I belong to. There is also a sadness for my family and myself to leave my country for freedom but also being able to move forward while still looking back. I want to return to my roots and speak with pride about my heritage and keep alive the magic of our myths and legends. My daughter must know who she is and understand our brilliant history and infuse the hope of what the future would be through our love for Iran.
“A home no longer mine” is a story of Iranian women. The story of the women in Iran who are fearless and throughout the history they have always fought and struggled against well- established patriarchal regimes and never have given up. They always stand even they arrested or sentenced to jail. But they are hoping for louder voice to be heard and to wakening up other people.