Ghosts of Yemen

 

I made a series of photos one November evening in 2013 called “Ghosts of Yemen,” 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 these streets hourly, no water to keep the country or its people clean and hydrated, an immense amount of Qat chewing and backwardness that I can 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. 

DSC04620.jpg
DSC04630.jpg
DSC04651.jpg
IMG_0300-Edit.jpg
IMG_0344-Edit.jpg
DSC04719.jpg
IMG_0266-Edit.jpg

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. 

Paris, November

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."

 

Dry

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

4.jpg

Self Portrait - Yemen, 2012

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. 

IMG_7019.jpg

Farewell 2014

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.

DSC08848.jpg
IMG_7130.jpg
DSC08928.jpg
IMG_2210.jpg
DSC00083.jpg
IMG_2082-Edit-2.jpg
DSC03091.jpg