Photos by Robin Beck, video by Sebastian Wuan.
An exhibit of works by female artists from the Middle East opens this weekend in California as the fight for women's reproductive rights continues across the United States.
"Women Define Women in Contemporary Art in the Middle East and Beyond" brings together the works of 42 women artists who the curators say reflect the personal and universal histories of women in Islamic societies and intend to challenge stereotypes about this art form. world .
"Many people think that all women in the Middle East are the same, they are all oppressed, they are invisible, they have terrible lives," curator Linda Komaroff told AFP.
And that is not true. It's like women all over the world. They have a lot of freedom and act accordingly."
The protesters come from across the Middle East and beyond, but there are also some from Iran, rocked in recent months by the death of Mahsa Amini, who was detained for not wearing the mandatory hijab.
One of the stunning images by Iranian photojournalist Nyusha Tavakolyan shows an Iranian woman in traditional dress and boxing gloves.
Another, Shirin Aliabadi, captures the restless spirit of the younger generation by depicting a woman in a blonde wig peeking out from under a scarf, blowing bubble gum.
The exhibit comes as the US was gripped by the abortion turmoil after the US Supreme Court last year struck down the constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy.
The same court will begin a trial Friday over the abortion drug mifepristone after a Texas judge ruled to ban the drug from widespread use.
Komarov said the ongoing fight for abortion rights in the United States meant it was a timely rally.
"Women's issues in America are on the decline in terms of control over our bodies," she said.
“American women were complacent. It is easy for them to look at another country or region and say: 'We are better than them.'
But maybe it's not. Maybe we're all in the same boat together."
The exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) opens Sunday and runs through September 24.