Gold / 2016 / Book / Documentary

IRAN, THE VEILED WOMAN

  • Prize
    Gold in Book (Series Only)/Documentary
  • Company
    Www.valerieleonard.fr
  • Photographer
    VALERIE LEONARDBorn in 1961, French-American, Valerie Leonard has always been surrounded by a world of images. Her mother was a painter, and her father, photographer, Herman Leonard. 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 of these women and men, in particularly hostile environments. Throughout her trips around the world she focused her work particularly on a theme that she named “Labours of Hercules”, where she attempts to show with utmost respect and admiration the nobility and courage of those living in difficult conditions.

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.

Born in 1961, French-American, Valerie Leonard has always been surrounded by a world of images. Her mother was a painter, and her father, photographer, Herman Leonard.
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 of these women and men, in particularly hostile environments.

Throughout her trips around the world she focused her work particularly on a theme that she named “Labours of Hercules”.
A series of photographs where she attempts to show with utmost respect and admiration the nobility and courage of those living in difficult conditions.