Revealing » Recording » Reflecting

Women Graphic Designers from Southwest Asia and North Africa

16 Mar 2022
16 Jun 2022

The exhibition is co-curated by:

Anja Lutz (A—Z Presents) & Dr. Huda AbiFarès (Khatt Foundation).

Venue: A—Z Presents, Torstrasse 93, Berlin, Germany
Opening Times: Thursdays from 13:00— 19:00, or by appointment.

The exhibition is a research-in-progress that will continuously develop and expand. It invites the visitors to engage and contribute to the research.

Revealing » Recording » Reflecting is a speculative research on generations of women graphic designers from Southwest Asia and North Africa, and diaspora. The project uses the exhibition platform as an editorial space to collect, reveal, retell and record the work and untold stories of the women graphic designers, calligraphers, typographers and illustrators who play key roles in shaping and rethinking visual and material culture of the region.

The exhibition is planned as a book editing platform, a research lab to conduct a series for collaborative investigations, and a space for interactions, meetings, and discovery. Six panel discussions will be designed and moderated by the four main researchers and activists Dr. Huda AbiFarès, Dr. Yasmine Nachabe Taan, Dr. Bahia Shehab and Soukeina Hachem. The panels will revolve around the themes: Visual Storytelling about Women by Women; Ladies of Letters; Image-Making for Social Engagement and Empowerment; and Navigating Diasporic Identities and Practices.

RRR_Exhibit_Entrance - ©Nour Asmar Nour Asmar

RRR_Exhibit_01 ©Hans-Georg Gaul and A—Z - A—Z Presents


16/03/22, 19:00–20:30 


24/03/22, 19:00–20:30 


14/04/22, 20:00–21:30 


28/04/22, 19:00–20:30


12/05/22, 19:00–20:30 


19/05/22, 19:00–20:30 


The project was initiated by:
Dr. Huda AbiFarès, Dr. Bahia Shehab and Anja Lutz.

Lead researchers:
Dr. Huda AbiFarès, Dr. Yasmine Nachabe Taan, Dr. Bahia Shehab, and Soukeina Hachem.

Dr. Huda AbiFarès is the Founding Director of the Khatt Foundation and Khatt Books publishers, in Amsterdam. She holds degrees in graphic design and design history from Leiden University (PhD), Yale University (MFA), and Rhode Island School of Design (BFA). She works as independent researcher, writer, designer, design curator and publisher. 

Dr. Yasmine Nachabe Taan is an Associate Professor of Art and Design History at the Lebanese American University in Beirut. She is currently Visiting Professor at Bilkent University in Turkey. She holds a PhD in Art History and Communication Studies from McGill University. Her interdisciplinary research cuts across the fields of visual culture, gender politics, photography and design history with a focus on Lebanon and the Middle East. She is author of a number of books on design and photography.

Dr. Bahia Shehab is an artist and author based in Cairo. She is Professor of design and founder of the graphic design program at The American University in Cairo. Her work has been exhibited internationally and has received a number of international awards including the BBC’s 100 women’s list, a TED Senior Fellowship, a Prince Claus Award, and the UNESCO-Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture. Her latest publications include You Can Crush the Flowers: A Visual Memoir of the Egyptian Revolution and the award winning co-authored book A History of Arab Graphic Design.

Soukeina Hachem is a Moroccan designer whose work in design and in culture aims to create social and systems change. Her diverse work portfolio includes interiors, furniture and graphic design. In 2012, Soukeina founded SHAPE, a strategic consulting agency that merges strategy and design, putting the user at the heart of its work process. She also initiated Casablanca Design Week in 2017 then 2019, a biennale of design,  that involved more than 100 designers in more than 25 spaces in the city, to showcase, reflect but also  to gather communities around on ongoing designers projects.

Guest contributing researchers include:
Dr. Azadeh Fatehrad, Hala Al-Ani, Sahar Khraibani, Fatma Mansour, Sara Abu Ghazal, Noha Abou-Khatwa, Yara Khoury Nammour, Basma W. Hamdy, Lina Ghaibeh, Deena Mohamed, Sara Rizkallah, Dr. Roshanak Keyghobadi, Ghalia Elsrakbi, Dina Benbrahim and Maya Moumne. In addition to contributions made by numerous designers featured in the research. 

RRR_Exhibit_02 ©Hans-Georg Gaul and A—Z - A—Z Presents

Open Call for Contributions
You are invited to contribute to this research by suggesting names and links about female designers who contributed to the design practice and visual culture in the SWANA region and diaspora since the 1950s. The research looks for work that engages feminists narratives and community building.
Thank you for sending your suggestions to mail@a-z-presents.com and please let us know how you would like to be listed as contributor.

A comprehensive publication will follow, edited by Dr. Huda AbiFarès, and published by Khatt Books in 2023.
This project is generously supported by: 
Khatt Foundation (khtt.net) @khattfoundation, Khatt Books (khattbooks.com) @khatt_books, The Arab Fund For Arts and Culture (AFAC) (arabculturefund.org)@afac.fund, The Arab Council for Social Sciences (ACSS) (theacss.org) through The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (mellon.org) @acss_org, and A—Z Presents (a-z-presents.com)@a.to.z.presents, and Khatt Chronicles @khatt_chronicle.