Watching TV at home

by Olivia Arthur



Watching TV at home. Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. 2009. (A print of this image has been re-photographed under reflective light to partially conceal identity.)


6″ x 6″ Magnum Square print

Fuji Crystal Archival Matte paper

Signed on verso by Olivia Arthur

Mint condition

Statement from   Olivia Arthur on the back of “ Watching TV at home

“In Saudi Arabia, notions of privacy and freedom have an intertwined and complex relationship. For some, privacy is a requirement to feel relaxed and be free; others consider the privacy they are forced to keep under a hijab as an inhibitor to their freedom, and there are those who simply want to be out of sight from their families or people that know them. I came across girls from all camps and spent a lot of time trying to understand what their idea of freedom was and where the boundaries of their privacy lay. As a woman, in the company of only women, I was able to see scenes that were not to be shared. But as a photographer, this became a huge problem; I was close enough to enable these women to be open with me, with themselves, and they would forget my role as a professional photographer. I ended up unwittingly taking a lot of photographs that they didn’t want me to use, and had to find a way to obscure faces and identities. In the end, I photographed little prints of the images under a bright light that partially hid their faces. When I showed them the effect they told me, ‘Yes, that’s great, but can’t you just show a bit more of her eyes so that people can see how beautiful she is?”

Related Links

So, more books by Olivia Arthur you can find here.

Also, more Magnum Square Prints here.

Publisher magnum