Skip to main content


Fantasies de l'harem i noves Xahrazads / Fantasías del harem y nuevas Sherezades / Harem Fantasies and new Scheherazades


Catalan 20€ Buy

This exhibition sets out to show how, by means of fascinating reading such as The Thousand and One Nights, the Western world has produced an unreal image of the East, a mirage of desire and ignorance that found its clear expression in the treatment of the theme of the harem. However, by means of an extraordinary selection of Eastern miniatures, the exhibition also shows how the East has constructed dreams and fantasies about women which have eclipsed a complex and not always pleasant reality. This twofold East-West fantasy has, like a thick veil, distorted the image of women and their personal reality.

Catalogue articles by Patricia Almarcegui, Erika Bornay, Sophie Makariou, Amina Okada and the exhibition curator, Fatema Mernissi, situate us and act as a guide around the works of great painters such as Ingres, Fortuny, Delacroix, Matisse and Picasso, shown alongside the Islamic miniatures. They present a critical dialogue between fantasy and reality, and address the role of art as a reflection of clichés and stereotypes. At the end of the exhibition, contemporary women artists use their work to challenge traditional views of Eastern women. An article by Rosse Issa closes the catalogue, explaining how these Arabic women use their art to fight for women's rights in their countries.

Authors: Amina Okada, Patricia Almarcegui, Erika Bornay, Sophie Makariou, Fatema Mernissi, Rosse Issa

Publication year: 2003

Pages: 208

Dimensions: 23,5 × 24 cm.

Images in B/W and colour: 180

978-84-7794-903-9 (català / castellano / english)

CCCB, Institut d’Edicions de la Diputació de Barcelona

Other publications