Photographer uses her lens to depict Muslim women as 'powerful presences in their own right'

Lalla Essaydi is an artist originally from Morocco whose experiences have inspired her to create politically astute work that deconstructs and reimagines stereotypes of Muslim womanhood.

"My work is highly autobiographical," Essaydi said. "In it, I speak my thoughts and talk directly about my experiences as a woman and an artist, finding the language with which to speak from those uncertain zones between memory and the present, East and West.

"The models I use are often women who have had the same relation to the physical spaces as I've had. But we also work with younger women so that the setting becomes a platform for the creation of new memories and understandings."