The self-portraits by Iram Malik is the fourth in a series of photo essays, visual stories and artworks on the lives of Kashmiri women. The series celebrates Kashmiri women's lives, their resilience, dreams and visions in commemoration of Kashmiri Women's Resistance Day.
"Men act and women appear. Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at. This determines not only most relations between men and women but also the relation of women to themselves. The surveyor of woman in herself is male: the surveyed female. Thus she turns herself into an object -- and most particularly an object of vision: a sight.” - John Berger
“I am my own muse. I am the subject I know best. The subject I want to know better” - Frida Kahlo
“You are the only one who can never see yourself except as an image; you never see your eyes unless they are dulled by the gaze they rest upon the mirror or the lens” - Roland Barthes
Self–portraits by women, confound, resist and take back the power of the male gaze. They subvert and invert hierarchies of subject and object, artist and muse, self and image. Since the time of the medieval art studio, where women art students were forbidden from drawing live models, women have turned to their own bodies as a way of practicing their art, and of imagining themselves in ways that the world would not allow. In this series of self-portraits, Iram Malik paints and photographs this most familiar and strangest of subjects, as a way of both becoming and being her self, and her own image.