This 20-Year-Old Student From Karachi Brilliantly Highlights Social Issues Through Her Impactful Photography
Breaking the monopoly of the male gaze in the media is no easy task. Globally, we certainly have a long way to go when it comes to presenting the female body and the female experience as examined rather than objectified; observed rather than owned.
Abeer Tanveer, an immensely talented photographer, is utilizing social media as a platform to illustrate these representations of women through her images – to show us what needs to be seen and what needs to be known.
A Media Sciences student in her second year at SZABIST, Abeer illustrates not only the social constructs that exist to keep women in a state of vulnerability through her pictures, but also offers juxtaposing narratives which serve to empower and put women in positions of strength.
“Portraits, in particular, are so powerful,” Abeer says, “and I want to be able to portray different perspectives through the variety of my photos. I hope that people see my photography as creative, socially and politically correct and fun.”
As much as Abeer wants to show these different perspectives, it is also important for her to encode her own meanings and messages.
“I do also want my audience to see my perspective on things because there are certain themes I follow and that I am interested in. For example, I did a whole segment on mental illness and I feel like these pictures were important because they highlighted how mental illness is experienced by women and the reality of how such labels can impact us.”
Her banner, “My body my choice,” made her vulnerable to insane amounts of online trolling, resulting in numerous rape and death threats and body shaming. Abeer didn’t let that be her only memory of Aurat March, though. She recalled the spirit on the day and reminisced about how the energy was incredible.
“I could literally feel and see it in myself,” Abeer recalls. “Even the men were so happy and joyful. I don’t think I’ve seen that before. People were dancing. I haven’t smiled like that in my entire life. When we were marching on the road, that was the safest I’ve ever felt. It’s sad but true.”