PhotographerVALERIE LEONARD Born in 1961, French-Ameri...
PrizeGold in Book (series Only) / Documentary
Entry Description

In Iran, men and women do not have the freedom they yearn for. However, women are less free than men. Compulsory veiling is one of the symbols of this lack of freedom. Even if it is false to believe that the Revolution covered with veils the women who had given it up, the bond to this dress code is very heavy to many Iranian women. By force, the veil came back into morals, and it is suffered as a pressure which is not possible to avoid. Western researchers consider the wearing of the veil in a certain historic context and manage to justify this practice, assimilating it to a shape of cultural diversity and this, without taking into account occult realities of this compulsory practice and especially at the expense of the Iranian women and without having consulted them to know the degree of the unpopularity of the Hijab for them.

About Photographer

Born in 1961, to American and French parents. Valerie Leonard has always been surrounded by a world of images. Her mother was a painter, and her father, internationally recognized photographer, Herman Leonard. Throughout his life, her father shared his passion for photography, his insatiable curiosity, his sense of context, and his love of beauty. Facing the enormity of talent, she had never dared ... However since his passing last year, something was released from inside. When she presses the shutter, she remembers the doctrine of her father: "Always tell the Truth, but in terms of Beauty". Valerie Leonard strives for her work to embody to this search for truth and beauty of human beings, whatever their origin or wealth. Far from seeking aesthetic or false compassion, she wants to show the dignity and courage of these women and men, in particularly hostile environments.