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ONE PHOTO – ONE STORY

24.03.2020

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‘This photograph was made for my first European solo show in Berlin, in the gallery Anahita Contemporary. It's a self-portrait alongside Anahita Sadighi, Moshtari Hilal and Susu AbdulMajid. We are respectively from Yemen, Iran, Afghanistan and Iraq. Despite our different roots I noticed that we all share a similar background, having grown up in Western nations that often vilify the places our families are from.

I also noticed the strong profiles of each of our faces. So I decided to create this portrait with the title Axis of Evil – a play on the term so frequently used to describe our home countries when we were growing up. It also embraces the beauty of our distinctive noses, which are often treated as ugly, something to be changed. I wanted to embrace these qualities of ours in this image, creating something powerful, defiant.’

Text and image: © Yumna Al-Arashi
Equipment: Leica M7 with Summicron-M 50 f/2 Asph
© Yumna Al-Arashi

Yumna Al-Arashi

Yumna Al-Arashi is a London-based photographer, filmmaker, writer and lecturer. Born to a Yemeni father and Egyptian mother, she was raised in the United States, where she studied Social Inquiry at The New School in New York City. Her work has received support from Tribeca Film Festival, The National Portrait Gallery, The US Department of State Office of Art in Embassies, The Magnum Foundation, Photoville, The International Center for Photography, National Geographic, NOWNESS, The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC), and the International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF).

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