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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

You Look Like a...Matthew, 2016

by Cherine Fahd

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2017 Finalist

These portraits were motivated by a challenging comment – ‘shave your beard off, you look like a terrorist’ – my parents (who are Lebanese Australians) directed at my brothers, hoping to persuade them to shave. The portraits are of young men who wear beards not as a religious requirement or symbol of political allegiance, but rather as a ‘hipster’ style choice. Problematically, their appearance and ethnicity superficially recall images of ‘jihadis’ represented in the western media. The portraits also recall clinical passport images; however, the subjects challenge the authority of institutional requirements: they subvert the camera’s gaze by looking to the side.

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2017

Related information

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2017

Previous exhibition, 2017

The exhibition is selected from a national field of entries, reflecting the distinctive vision of Australia's aspiring and professional portrait photographers and the unique nature of their subjects.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency