Faces of Freedom by Alexandra Kremer-Khomasouridze
“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” The first article of the universal declaration of human rights:
I first heard about this project when Alexandra offered me the opportunity to participate as a model. I am among these women, photographed trying on the hijab.
Alexandra took me to her small studio with only one camera and a single mirror, and it was here that I tried on the hijab for the first time in my life.
When I wore it I suddenly felt that my character became more important than my look. When I was fully covered nothing else mattered except for what I really am inside. To me – that was a kind of freedom. For a moment it was crystal clear that a person needs to work on and improve their inner self, rather and not your look what we do every single day. This experience underlined my identity and connected me with my inner self!
The photoshoot was more of a therapy session, where I could comfortably share my thoughts with Alexandra. She became more than just an artist for me, I realised that what she calls portrait photographs were actually far deeper, and more intimate portraits of women captured at a very private moment, a moment of freedom, when choosing to wear the hijab or not.
Today I am here to curate this show within the Buta Festival of Azerbaijani Art in London (see below). While carefully selecting the characters, working on the catalogue and the set up, I found myself feeling the exact same thing, which I felt back then, when entering Kremer-Khomasouridze's studio in Baku many years ago. I knew that this exhibition is going to be about much more than just wearing a hijab. It catches the inner faith, beauty, serenity or state of anxiety that flashes into the eyes of each woman portrayed here, and how those looks reflect on each one of us.