Sailed to Catalina for Memorial Day weekend
I made a series of photos called "Ghosts of Yemen" one November evening in 2013, not realizing that this would be the last time I’d see this place the way it was and always has been to me. Old, vibrant and majorly flawed. Power outages plagued those streets hourly, no water to keep the country or its people clean and hydrated, an immense amount of Qat chewing and backwardness that I could hardly relate to. A country so old, streets and corridors that have remained untouched since the beginnings of time. And I loved it so much.
I look back at these photos and truly feel those ghosts. Some ghosts are less present than others, light and fleeting, just passing through. Others haunt me, eyes that gaze, stinging like a burn that just won’t fade. I imagine these streets destroyed, crawling with fear, paranoia, grief and uncertainty. A feeling of helplessness, praying for these ghosts to move on, to rest in peace.
Journal entry from November 30th, 2014:
"I'm in Paris. It's a Sunday morning, almost noon. I'm waking after my first full night of rest - a result of the absurd amount of work, wine, and freezing scooter rides.
I like Paris. It's playful, sad, childlike, and small. Everything is small. A smallness that yearns to hold you tight. Walls close in on you, as if to warmly embrace your presence. Human need for closeness is an undeniable truth in this city. Yet, people are cold to one another - maybe because their interaction is satisfied by living spaces stacked on top of one another.
The city speaks to you with every step you take. Animated, alive, pulling you closer to notice its beautiful intricacies. The city bleeds, has scars of its past. You breathe memories. You taste sadness, love, death. The gloom makes color more whimsical, gold shines brighter. You understand why dreamers plant their roots here.
Time spent building these walls gave them life, as maybe you'd imagine some higher power did for our kind. A vibrant, unashamed, vulnerable, and sensitive life."
An empty room in our home. Sending my sweet Jac off to the next chapter.
Makeup by Hinako @ The Wall Group using Tom Ford Beauty and Make Up For Ever
Hair by Hannah Burdy
Lingerie by Stockroom and Presse Maison Close
in the middle of a Yemeni winter, still blazing hot. in the house my father and his fourteen siblings were born and raised. on the verge of turning twenty-four years old.
every day, stuck in a veil that, although I knew was necessary, made me scream inside.
the arab spring. seeing the country my father called home crumbling to pieces. preparing for my trip to Egypt, the country my mother calls home, to join my fellow comrades in protesting for their rights. our rights.
A year of love. A year of pain and not-knowing. Work. An endless amount of work.
Melancholy memories made with friends, old and new.
No high without low. No growth without ache.