Friday, April 2, 2010

Making art of the stuff of domestic servitude

“Fair and Lovely” is a brand of skin-whitening cream used by Asian and African women. It’s also the poignant title of Tagreed Darghouth’s latest exhibition, currently on show at the Agial Art Gallery.

The show’s series of oil portraits is dedicated to the plight of the foreign domestic workers, who have become a pervasive and disconcerting social phenomenon in Lebanon and across the wider Middle East.


The highlight of the exhibition is an array of mugshots taken from newspapers, publicizing runaways who have fled the control of their employers. Ironically, the distressed women look content in their photos – taken by their employment agency before they entered domestic servitude – and subsequently used as an ad to attract families in need of domestic labor.

Full Daily Star article here (2 April 2010).

“Fair and Lovely” is up at the Agial Art Gallery until April 17. For more information contact the gallery at or +961 1 345 213.

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