Hidden face of Iran

A series of images, by French photographer Bernard Russo.

Exhibitions at The Street Gallery, IAIS

The Street Gallery is part of the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies and exhibits material culture and art with relevance to its academic interests, namely the Arab World, Middle East and Islam.

Current exhibitions

All exhibitions are open to the public Monday to Fridays (not public holidays) 9am - 5pm.

Future exhibitions

The Hidden Face of Iran

What is life really like in Iran?  

This exhibition presents a series of images, by French photographer Bernard Russo, which captures the everyday life of ordinary people in Iran – images rarely seen in the West where  Iran is typically presented as a land of culture, religion (often fundamental), and the centre of Sharia law.   But what are Iranians like?  These fascinating pictures reveal the daily routine and activities of people ‘just like us’.  Through their simplicity one is able to empathize with the subjects; portrayed artistically, but without artifice. The images answer questions, yet pose many more.

Bernard Russo takes his camera all round the world – Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe, India, the Middle East – richly and perceptively capturing humans as they are, in their natural environment.  His work has been critically acclaimed in the press and is widely shown in exhibitions in many countries.

Opening: Thursday 22nd September 2016 at 6.00 pm

A Tale of Two Rivers

The Nile in Sudan, the Wye in Wales/England – what do they have in common?  Herman Bell will present images and artefacts that link the two rivers in a fascinating exhibition.

February – April  2017

Previous exhibitions

Full list of previous exhibitions here

yemani sailors

Last Of The Dictionary Men: Stories From The South Shields Yemeni Sailors



The North East of England boasts a proud maritime and industrial heritage that has all but disappeared from today’s landscape along the River Tyne.  Within this heritage lies a remarkable Middle Eastern connection – South Shields is

the Land of the Arabs!

Over the course of 100 years, thousands of seamen from Yemen settled in the small town of South Shields and made it their home. Successful integration of the Yemeni community, it is argued, is one of the key multiculturalism stories that the region has to offer to the nation.

In 2005, the Iranian film director, Tina Gharavi, embarked on a journey to discover the legacy of Mohammed Ali’s visit to South Shields in 1977 (one day after the Queen’s Jubilee tour to the region). While filming she met with the Yemeni elders at the Al-Azhar mosque who shared glimpses of their amazing lives, previously unknown and untold.

A series of thirteen hand-coloured portraits by the internationally renowned photographer, Youssef Nabil, captures the first generation of Yemeni sailors with the pride they embody as individuals and as a community

Bridge + Tunnel Productions has developed a unique project, engaging two international artists (Tina Gharavi and Youssef Nabil) to work collaboratively with 14 Yemeni sailors, the last survivors of the first-generation who settled in South Shields.

The Exhibition ran from: Monday 24 November 2015 – Friday 29 January 2016.  



Faith and Fortune

Monday 25 May – Friday 19 December 2015

An exhibition focussing on the use of Late Antique coinage as a platform for the promotion of the respective political and religious ideals of the Byzantine, Umayyad and Sasanian Empires.

Further details here.



Calligraffiti - by eL Seed 'Multiple Identities' mural by el Seed

Not an exhibition, but a special work created by international calligraffiti artist eL Seed, on the wall of the Institute by the fountain.  Details of eL Seed's work may be viewed at http://elseed-art.com

Contact us

If you would like any information about exhibitions at the Institute of Arab and Islamic studies, please contact:

Jane Clark (Manager)
The Street Gallery
Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies
University of Exeter
Stocker Road
United Kingdom

Email jane.clark@exeter.ac.uk