Randa Mirza


Randa Mirza (1978, Beirut, Lebanon) mainly works with photography and video. She took a bachelor’s degree in visual arts at the Université Paris 8 and a master’s degree in mass communication at the Academie Libanaise des Beaux Arts. Important themes in her work are the devastating civil war in Lebanon from 1975 until 1990 and its consequences; inequality between men and women; the role of women in the Arab world; and the situation in the Middle East. In her work, Mirza challenges the function of images. As much as possible, she uses images from everyday reality as well as nostalgic representations of an idealised Arab past. ‘When you analyse the symbolically, socially, and politically charged visual language in films, you get a sense of the values and norms of the period in which they were made. I primarily focus on how gender and orientalism are depicted. I subvert their meaning by showing how these images came about’. She manipulates these images to bring to light underlying contradictions inherent in all images in the space between reality and fiction. In her performances, she does live photo and video editing. Mirza received various awards for her work, including the gold medal from Jeux de la Francophonie in 2005 and the NO LIMIT award from Les Rencontres Photographiques d’Arles in 2006. In 2013, she was one of the winners of the Maison Blanche award from the Festival de la Photographie Marseille. Her work was shown in the Witte de With and the Zentrum für Kunst und Medien in Karlsruhe.