What do you know about Arab men?
The West knows very little about them, according to French photographer Scarlett Coten. In her latest project titled ‘Mectoub’ (Arabic for ‘it is written) Coten challenges Western stereotypes and presents what she believes is another side of Arab men.
Since her project began in 2012 she has photographed the youth in Egypt (Alexandria/Cairo) and Morocco (Tangiers/Marrakech/Fez) but she has plans to continue her work across the Arab world.
As revolution spread through the region over the past few years Arab men and women have poured onto the streets for a chance to be heard.
With the West constantly trying to unveil the women in Arab culture, Coten chose to do the same except with men. She believes that they too are subjected to some of the same restrictions and frustrations. What she discovered inspired her.
"They are shy, smart and sensual.”
Her love affair with Arab culture spans over a decade - starting from the time she spent with a Bedouin tribe in the Sinai desert in Egypt. Even then she portrayed her subjects in an alternative light in a series titles 'still alive.'
“I portrayed the women wearing a joyful veil. They wore it like beautiful jewelry,” Coten said.
Responding to some of the sexist comments and criticism she received while presenting ‘Mectoub’ in France, Coten said that " people here who have not a good knowledge of Arab countries and culture, sometimes misinterpret my work."
Carbonated.TV spoke with Scarlett Coten about her project to shed light on a group that the media often overlooks or presents in a one-dimensional light.