It takes courage to choose a life without a man by one’s side, especially in a patriarchal society where marriage provides protection and financial security. In rural Egypt, the image of divorced, widowed, or unmarried women is still associated with shame and social exclusion. Inspired by the symbolism of powerful women in ancient Egypt, our search for courageous single women began in the Valley of the Queens near Luxor. We set out on a journey to tell the story of the courage and experiences of single women in southern Egypt.

Women report that they no longer believe in the idea of true love. Women who pretend to be men to experience acceptance and protection. Women who have resigned themselves to being alone for the rest of their lives. Women who succumb to the pain of unrequited love or close their hearts to survive. The portrait series „Divine Heritage“ symbolizes the collective dream of affection, love, and courage from Western and Muslim perspectives and recounts experiences that exist in a tension between self-determination and longing.

The project is ongoing and was developed in collaboration with Barbara Haas and Hager Elhakim. The project was part of „Der Neue BFF Förderpreis 2022“ and was honored with the 2nd prize of the „Otto Steinert Preis 2022“.