Photo: Saudi Woman in a Suitcase

Much has been said about the notorious text messages the Saudi government sends to men when their dependents travel, but this piece of photo commentary stands out:

The photo shows “a young Saudi woman curled up in fetal position inside a suitcase, clutching on to her passport as her travel permit dangles from it.” It was was produced by Bushra A., a Saudi college student who is studying abroad.

Bushra, a senior journalism major, told me the the text messages controversy was partly to blame for triggering the portrait’s concept, but she added that she has “always wanted to depict the issue of how Saudi women are constantly being viewed as ‘minors’ and incapable of making life-affirming decisions without male and governmental approval.”

While the photo might appear like a strong statement against the male guardianship system, Bushra said the aim of the portrait is not necessarily to criticize or make anyone or anything appear bad. “Rather it is an illustration of how many Saudi women genuinely feel towards the system,” she said.

You can read more about Bushra’s work on her tumblr.