Photo Grant by Deloitte
And They Laughed At Me by Newsha Tavakolian
From December 13th, 2023 to January 28th, 2024
From December 13th to January 28th, MUDEC will host the major photographic exhibition “And they laughed at me” by the Iranian artist Newsha Tavakolian, winner of the prestigious Deloitte’s Photo Grant, promoted by Deloitte Italia with the sponsorship of Fondazione Deloitte and in collaboration with 24 ORE Cultura, curated by Denis Curti, and Black Camera.
The theme proposed for this first edition of Deloitte’s Photo Grant is “Connections,” on which over 700 authors worked to present their own narrative and visual interpretation of what it means — according to their artistic sensibility — to be “connected” on a human, professional, economic, or environmental level.
The exhibition “And they laughed at me” aims to reflect on a strategy employed by the Iranian military to blind people using rubber bullets. This dystopian measure, often utilized by the police to prevent the spread of information, seeks to hinder the population from being aware of contemporary events.
The exhibition’s layout reveals the narrative maturity of the images and the profound human charge in the artist’s work — a true manifesto that uses visual language to counteract the repressive terrorism of a political body aiming to suppress individual self-determination in favor of totalitarian ends.
The photographs carry strong expressive power, laden with questions, highlighting the conflict between the imposed society and the desire for individual change. Within the context of this oppressive reality, the exhibited works represent a courageous voice opposing an inevitable destiny, combining elements typical of reportage and conceptual compositions that unveil the drama of oppression and ultimately chart a revolutionary path toward freedom, inspired by the unity of many courageous souls.
The exhibition will also feature a showcase of chosen pieces from the conceptual project “Dust From Home” by Fernanda Liberti, a Brazilian photographer born in Rio de Janeiro in 1994. Fernanda was the winner of the Open Call contest specifically designed for artists Under 35.
Newsha Tavakolian (Tehran, 1981) is an Iranian photographer and a member of Magnum Photos, renowned for her work on the human condition. Her art combines evocative storytelling with documentation on various themes, including women’s rights, tensions within conflicts, and human emotions. She has received numerous awards, and her works are exhibited worldwide and collected by international institutions such as the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In addition to her dedication to photography, she is currently working on a feature film in Iran and Romania after having produced a short film in 2019.