These photographs form part of the Art Fund Collection of Middle Eastern Photography.

This is an Art Fund initiative for the British Museum and V&A to acquire a collection of 20th century and contemporary photography and digital images by artists from the Middle East (whether living in their countries of origin or outside). The Art Fund has given the two museums grants over £150,000 for the collection and additional support for the tour of the collection. In this series, Malullah is inside a Shi'a tomb in a village in Bahrain. She is lying on or next to graves. She has reinterpreted and personalised a particular Shi'a practice which is based on the concept of intercession (tawassul), where the Shia believe that pious people can intercede on their behalf. This tomb is one where the deceased was believed to be a good person and therefore has the ability to intercede with God. The usual practice would be to go into the tomb or touch the grave. Here Malullah has taken it a stage further and is making more intense contact with the grave. These striking images are a powerful commentary on a Shi'a religious practice. Malullah has created a work which pushes the boundaries of what can be represented in terms of the Muslim religion.


1) Al-Riwaq Gallery, Bahrain; 2) Casa Del Arte, Istanbul; 3-5) Rose Issa Projects, London; 6) Magnum Photos.

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