Fencer Arra Besbes (Tunisia)

Hey’Ya | Arab Women in Sport, the first exhibition in London by the internationally renowned photographer Brigitte Lacombe with the documentary film-maker Marian Lacombe, will go on show at Sotheby’s London from 25th July to 11th August.

Basket ball Player Amal Mohammad Awad (Quatar)

Hey’Ya, the title of the exhibition and the book, incidentally has nothing to do with the Outkast song; rather it is an Arabic expression meaning Let’s Go!

The exhibition features a brand new series of large-scale photographs by Brigitte Lacombe of more than 50 Arab sportswomen, from beginners to Olympians, from 20 different Arab countries, shown alongside videos by her sister, Marian Lacombe, which situate the images within the women’s personal histories and a wider – often unspoken – discourse of gender, culture and sport in the Arab world.

Equestrian Dalma Malhas (Saudi Arabia)

The project, shot over a period of seven months, began in December 2011, in the Athletes’ Village at the Arab Games in Doha, where Brigitte and Marian Lacombe set up their own outdoor studio, working side by side. Thereafter they traveled and worked with women athletes of all ages and levels of achievement in countries from the Gulf to North Africa. With the support of Qatar’s Aspire programme, which promotes sporting opportunities for young people, they also worked with the talented younger generation of sporting hopefuls.

Athletics Team (Sudan)

The exhibition was conceived by the Qatar Museums Authority, combining their long-standing commitment to commissioning and showing the work of internationally renowned artists with the wider goal of the country to drive forward Qatar’s aim of educating and sparking debate about sport, and of persuading more girls to find a way to participate.

Basketball Player Miriam Hussein (Somalia)

I know the Olympic event is threatening to choke us as it is (for very obvious reasons) EVERYWHERE and everyone has decided to use even the most tenuous link as an excuse to jump on the band wagon! Try not to get O fatigue, my fellow art athletes (artletes?), do go along if you can, as these are stunning and unusual images.

Athlete Feta Ahamada (Cormoros)

The exhibition is accompanied by a beautifully illustrated book, which includes reproductions of the images by Brigitte Lacombe, together with two major essays: the Egyptian-born author, Gini Alhadeff and the Qatari film-maker and writer, Sophia Al-Maria.

Brigitte Lacombe + Marian Lacombe
Hey’Ya | Arab Women in Sport
Presented by Qatar Museums Authority
25th July – 11th August 2012
Sotheby’s Gallery
St George Street
London W1S 2FB
Open daily: 10 am – 6 pm
Admission free

Words by Anna Bang

All photographs by Brigitte Lacombe

Shooter Bahya Al-Hamad (Quatar)


anna bang, Brigitte Lacombe, Hey’Ya | Arab Women in Sport, Marian Lacombe, Sotheby's,