Humanity: Unseen Faces

Documentary photography by Fátimih Anís

Date: Jun 26 – Jul 23Space: Small Gallery

A rare collection of Documentary Photography taken by Fátimih Anís throughout Syria, Pakistan, India, and New York. She is interested in life and cultural niches, in it’s naturally painful, rustic, and raw elements; engaging and observing without exploitation or disruption. Fátimih was formally educated in Philadelphia and New York City, in the fields of photography-documentary and photojournalism, design, and psychology.

Documentary photography can open us up to a transcendent human experience; Fátimih uses photography to reveal the intricate beauty within human cultures.

In Fátimih’s approach to photography you may find elements of both documentary and journalism. She works on discovering the story between environment and subject to awaken compassion and cross cultural understanding.

To help raise awareness towards the reality of human trafficking around the globe, this series serves to represent humanity, those “Unseen Faces” of our world.

In solidarity to this cause, 100% of the profits of any sale from this exhibition will go to ‘Odanadi’; an NGO in South India dedicated towards the rehabilitation of those humans rescued from human trafficking. www.odanadi.org

OPENING NIGHT: Friday 26 June, 5-7pm. All welcome! Light refreshments will be served.

She hopes these images resonate with you.

Commissions welcome.

More about Fátimih:

Growing up in a remote town in Alaska, Fatimih Anis related well to feelings of isolation, and felt a strong curiosity for other remote cultures in those far corners of the earth. Images of people in their environment inspired stories in her. Looking at life captured in a moment in time made her feel connected, less isolated. The details of a particular image made her stare deeply for long periods of time.

Never relating well to the formal way of learning, Fatimih found it hard to learn anything without being visually engaged, and it would take her a lot of time observing and looking deeply into something before she felt she was understanding the subject matter. She couldn’t learn without being immersed and photographs are an extension of the way Fatimih learns. The very nature of photography, the serendipity, the stillness and waiting which goes into being there for each moment encompasses her way of learning.

Walking helps her see deeply. So Fatimih walks a lot, and far. Her interest in neighbourhoods and what happens in the streets drives her work. Neighbourhoods can be a micro examination of a town, city, state, region, country, even continent. Observing over time how those people change their habits, and how environments change makes them less invisible. Sometimes they represent the greater whole, but mostly they are unbelievably unique. The changes that happen between the divides in neighbourhoods are stories in themselves. Fatimih is interested in how people interact in the streets; behaviours, dress, and emotions, and how the light or gloom of the weather affects behaviour, and how this can all be drawn out in a photograph. This is what harvested her love of the documentary and street photography, and she is always looking for new stimulations.

About hundred odd jobs, mostly unglamorous, over the past 20 years have funded this artistic journey. Those experiences alone have fuelled stories within themselves, and have shaped Fatimih’s way of being in the world. She has built her life around her way of making art; ‘There is something about making myself uncomfortable which inspires my work. Placing myself in environments which are foreign to me, pushing through my boundaries, experiencing life from different vantage points. This is photography for me.’

Fatimih’s interest in ancient art, and hieroglyphics; thinking of Islam as a culture rather than merely a religion inspired visions in her of how it varies around the world. In particular amongst countries which border one another.  Thinking of the Middle East and Central Asia, she wanted to take a closer look at what the culture of Islam looked like visually from Modern to Ancient. This drew her to spend 10 months in Northern India, Pakistan, and Syria; finding her own voice from different points of view in everyday situations amongst one of the world’s most ancient cultures, where there has been historically the most conflict in the world. It was the prosaic moments in life which moved Fatimih the most. Life is banal, but there is a certain beauty in that, and through her exhibition of photography Fatimih Anis hopes to make that more visible.

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