Thursday, 10 September 2015

Amira Al-Sharif | A Love Song To Socotra Island

Photo © Amira Al-Sharif-All Rights Reserved- Courtesy Arab Documentary Photography Program
Socotra Island is a small archipelago of four islands in the Indian Ocean. It is a governorate of Yemen. The same Yemen that is currently being ripped apart by a civil war, and systematically destroyed by Saudi Arabia and its allies. The island is considered a jewel of biodiversity in the Indian Ocean, and was recognized by UNESCO as a world natural heritage site in July 2008.

Most of the inhabitants are indigenous Soqotri people who are of Southern Arabian descent, along with a minority of Africans, believed to be descendants of runaway slaves. Interestingly, the islanders originally followed indigenous religions, then Christianity then Islam.

Amira Al-Sharif's A Love Song to Socotra Island grew from a search for inspiring and pioneering women who are making their own way in life while confronting the traditions and customs of a male dominated society.

Amira Al-Sharif was born in Saudi Arabia and raised in Yemen. Working as a female documentary photographer in Yemen, where the majority of photographers are male, she continues to push cultural and societal boundaries. She works as a freelance photojournalist for English newspapers and magazines in Yemen and abroad. Her work is published in international newspapers and by humanitarian and development organizations in both English and Arabic. She is also a alum of the Foundry Photojournalism Workshop (Istanbul).

The Arab Documentary Photography Program (ADPP) is an initiative that provides support and mentorship to photographers from across the Arab region. The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture in partnership with Magnum Foundation and the Prince Claus Fund established the ADPP to stimulate compelling work by Arab photographers working across a range of experimental styles of storytelling.