Mainly working in black and white, Ibi Ibrahim’s photographs are aesthetically and politically striking. Many of his pieces relay controversial, taboo messages which are undoubtedly received positively in his home country of Yemen. I personally see messages of love and the desire for acceptance, not just tolerance in his artwork. Middle Eastern society isn’t as black and white as some Arabs prefer to admit but Ibrahim’s beautifully constructed images force its acknowledgement.
A post on his Tumblr reads, “I find it rather hard to explore my point of view through being in a society that isn’t much involved ideologically with what I present. In the same time, if I were to be in Yemen I am certain that it will be almost impossible to express my point of view.” It is the unfortunately reality of artists across the globe whose universal messages of acceptance are seen as intolerable in their own homes.
Please see Ibrahim’s Tumblr – for the moment, his site remains inaccessible.
TAMARA ABDUL HADI
Previously a photojournalist, Tamara Abdul Hadi has had a long career in photography and since created both politically, poetically and visually powerful images. She has taken photos in Iraq, Palestine, Egypt and the US. My favourite series of hers include; Picture an Arab Man and Self Portraits from Inside Palestine – both challenging self and outsider perceptions and stereotypes. The former tampers with gender expectations particularly demanded of Arab men and the other of individual perceptions in war time. Her photographs are often lit up by the innocent and raw emotions from their subjects.
It is unsurprising that Kesrouani studied architecture and his love for lines (and curves) appears prominently in his work. The artist clearly knows his angles. Another mostly black and white photographer, his work successfully highlights a wealth of European and the Middle Eastern eccentricity. His series, Beirut, makes the city looks positively apocalyptic. I highly encourage you to peruse his non-photographic works including his ‘remixes’, which are all refreshingly excellent.
BEIRUT STREET PHOTOGRAPHERS
This is an initiative I would like to share with all of you. Founded by a group of Beirutis, this initiative is open to individuals across the world. They have some great pictures on their Facebook page and if you like photography, you probably own a camera – so get involved!
All photographs are sourced directly from the sites of the respective photographers. Artists, please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like your art removed.