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Qatar Museums Authority and Sothebys open Hey’Yah. Arab Women in Sport

Qatar Museums Authority and Sothebys present Hey’Yah. Arab Women in Sport the first exhibition in London by the internationally renowned photographer Brigitte Lacombe with the documentary maker Marian Lacombe, will go on show at Sotheby’s London from 25 July – 15 August 2012, in conjunction with the XXX Olympiad in London.

The exhibition features a brand new series of large-scale photographs by Brigitte Lacombe of more than 50 Arab sportswomen, from beginners to Olympians, from 20 different Arab countries, shown alongside videos by her sister, Marian Lacombe, which situate the images within the women’s personal histories and a wider – often unspoken – discourse of gender, culture and sport in the Arab world.

The project, shot over a period of seven months, began in December 2011, in the Athletes Village at the Arab Games in Doha, where Brigitte and Marian Lacombe set up a specially created outdoor studio, working side by side. Thereafter they traveled, working with women athletes of all ages and levels of achievement in countries from the Gulf to North Africa. With the support of Qatar’s Aspire programme, which promotes sporting opportunities for young people, they also worked with the talented younger generation of sporting hopefuls.

The exhibition was conceived by the Qatar Museums Authority, combining their long-standing commitment to commissioning and showing the work of internationally renowned artists with the wider goal of the country to drive forward Qatar’s aim of educating and sparking debate about sport, and of persuading more girls to find a way to participate.

Award-winning French photographer Brigitte Lacombe lives in New York City. Over the last thirty years, she has worked extensively on assignments in magazines, the theatre and film. The long list of legendary directors she has worked with include Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Mike Nichols, Sam Mendes, Michael Haneke, David Mamet, Quentin Tarantino, Spike Jonze, and since 1983 she has worked on all David Mamet’s productions. Her work has been extensively published including two monographs (2001 and 2009). Since 2009, she has been working on an ongoing project for the Doha Film Institute and the Doha Tribeca Film Festival in Qatar. Entitled, I am Film, this is a collection of portraits of international filmmaker and actors, with an emphasis on filmmakers from the Middle East region.

Marian Lacombe works as an independent documentary film-maker, following 20 years as a reporter, anchorwoman and editor-in-chief on daily news and magazines for the French TV channel M6 in Paris. She has directed documentaries on filmmakers, choreographers and designers such as Robert Altman, Philippe Decouflé and Christian Lacroix. Since 2010, she has been working with Brigitte Lacombe for the Doha Film Institute photographic project I am Film. She also travels around the world filming and working on travel assignments for Condé Nast Traveler Magazine.

Hey’Ya, the title of the exhibition is an Arabic expression meaning Let’s Go.

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