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Jameela Elfaki’s guide to her favourite photographers

The AZEEMA founder’s round-up casts a light on their blossoming network of creatives. Now, in no particular order...

Founded by editor Jameela Elfaki, AZEEMA is a publication celebrating the women of the Middle East and North Africa, showcasing the creatives that rarely make it into the pages of glossy fashion magazines and, importantly, the women Elfaki never saw when she was growing up. Challenging and confronting diversity issues, while keeping a finger firmly on the pulse for new and emerging talent, the magazine has become a celebration of the burgeoning cultures around the globe, creating a space that allows POC women to speak and be heard. With so many reasons to celebrate talent within the brown community, we asked Jameela to put together an edit of some of her favourite photographers within the AZEEMA network.

Tamara Abdul Hadi

Tamara’s work is so striking and every image tells a particular story. She captures individuals in such a unique way. We love the richness of colour in her Iraqi-Marshland series where she captured young girl ‘Banin’, her family and her favourite buffalo. Abdul Hadi’s work explores the complexity and idiosyncrasy of minority communities that are often subjected to stereotyping and underrepresentation.

Yumna Al-arashi

Yumna is ridiculously talented. Much of her work considers the female body and the Middle Eastern/North African region, which she uses to educate and inspire others. Yumna is also not afraid to create art with her own body. One of our favourite projects of hers is ‘Shedding Skin’. It’s a beautiful and intimate portrayal of a hammam, which signifies the close relationship and special bond women share when they’re comfortable with each other.

Malak Kabbani

Master of medium format film, she captures the most beautiful and intricate portraits of people and settings across her hometown of Cairo, Egypt and current home, London. We love Malak’s use of a traditional style of portraiture mixed with modern subjects. Malak shot and interviewed Dina – Egypt’s most famous belly dancer for issue 3 of AZEEMA.

Hanane Louardani

Hanane’s work is very beautiful. She has an eye for detail and colour, making the most simple of things look stunning. She has a particular strength in capturing Moroccan youth with a feminine lens. You can often tell an image is by Hanane as there is a softness and warmth to her work! We featured some of Hanane’s work – 'The Walls Are Red, The Skies Are Blue' – in our latest issue.

Mashael

Some of our favourite works by Mashael are her black and white film images and her documentary photography featuring washed out pastel colours and beautiful settings from Cairo to Jaipur. Mashael’s work explores concepts through storytelling and visual essays, with each visual essay exploring something entirely different. We are excited to see what she does next!

Mancie Rathod

Some of our favourite work of Mancie's are the images she’s taken in her native country, India. A lot of her work explores her heritage and culture which is so vibrant and so stunning. Her images are all colourful, yet delicate and just visually beautiful.

Ladin

We are in love with Ladin’s beautiful photography of her motherland, Sudan. Some of our favourite work by Ladin is from her trip to visit her grandfather’s farmland overlooking the 3rd cataract of the Nile. Her work explores ideas of home, identity, and belonging through a Black diasporic lens. Ladin is also the co-founder of Chroma NY – a cross-disciplinary creative studio which aims to diversify our industries and nurture a cultural consciousness that centres womxn of colour.


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