Untitled, from the series Listen

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Untitled, from the series Listen

Series: Listen
Descriptive: girl in boxing gloves
Inkjet print on Hahnemühle paper
Image: 41 1/8 × 51 1/4 in. (104.46 × 130.18 cm) Sheet: 50 × 64 1/4 in. (127 × 163.2 cm)
Purchased with funds provided by the Farhang Foundation, Fine Arts Council and an anonymous donor (M.2012.142.4)
Not currently on public view

Curator Notes

This print is from the series Listen, which was conceived by Newsha Tavakolian as a group of imaginary CD covers for fantasy albums by women singers, who have not been permitted to perform in public in Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The unexpected image of a young woman enveloped completely in black but sporting bright red boxing gloves and standing in the middle of a deserted four-lane highway with her back to the city is meant to provoke and perhaps to confront viewers with their own preconceptions: this woman, like so many others in Iran, is a force to be reckoned with. She is part of a new generation of women who work within the system but against the status quo. Tavakolian, a self-taught photographer, began her career as a photojournalist at the age of sixteen. Professional success came quickly, with her work published in the New York Times, Newsweek, and Time. Her award-winning photo-essay Women in the Axis of Evil (2006) was a response to George W. Bush’s characterization of Iran, and other work since that time has sought to contradict the Western media’s narrow depiction of Iranian women and their lives. Tavokolian's vibrant, engaging images document the evolving role of women as they battle or subvert gender-based restrictions.


  • Wilson-Goldie, Kaelen. "Newsha Tavakolian: Listen." Aperture no.224 (2016): 94-99.