© Samer Mohdad
Samer Mohdad is known for a lot of things; his work with World Press Photo and Masterclass, his contributions as a photographer to VU photo agency, teaching photography at Notre Dame University in Lebanon and at The Visual Merchandising School in Switzerland, numerous exhibitions exploring the contemporary Arab world... All of this are solid contributions with a substantial ripple effect. 

It could be argued though, that if there was one project that is most responsible for his acclaim, it is his book and exhibition titled My Arabias. The work – like much of Mohdad's work – was shot in the Middle East and shows us a less represented side to the region. Shying away from conflict, refugees and ruins, Mohdad says (via his artist statement on the UNCA library site which has statements and bios from Mother Jones documentary photography award winners, 2000), "When we look at the Arab world from the inside, our vision changes. Three of the world's great monotheistic religions - Judaism, Christianity, and Islam - originated in this part of the world. Over the centuries, nomadic tribes adapted to the changes brought by each successive religion, even as they absorbed the influences from Central Asian cultures."

Responding to the west's perception about the Middle East, Mohdad stated, "Seen from the outside, the Arab world looks like a powder keg ready to explode. Conflict and hatred seem to dominate the Middle East, as people divide themselves along religious lines. Westerners believe that being Arab means being Muslim. Our minds are saturated by the misleading images on our television screen. These photographs map a long inner voyage into the landscape of my emotions. Since photography is so subjective, it lends itself to diverse interpretations. I have tried to capture the realities of this region without making any judgments." 
© Samer Mohdad
© Samer Mohdad

1 comment:

  1. each frame is perfect. That's real photography. communicating through beauty.
    Roger Lemoyne