I have been living and working in many different countries where my job was to conduct research on socio-economic and development issues. Through my job I have developed good analytical, research and writing skills. However apart from writing scientific reports I have always felt compelled to give a face to contemporary social and development issues by presenting the perspectives of everyday people impacted by issues such as poverty, the food crisis, infectious animal diseases and environmental degradation among others.
I have interviewed farmers in Afghanistan, India, Turkey, Bangladesh and Cameroon on a wide range of issues pertinent to their livelihoods. In 2010 I interviewed garbage collectors in the slums of Cairo affected by the culling of their pigs due to swine flu. Photos taken during these interviews and others have been exhibited at a gallery in Cairo in 2010. Recently I interviewed a family of livestock keepers in Afghanistan who used to be nomadic (Kuchi) but due to conflicts over grazing land, widespread insecurity, local militias and landmines their access to grazing land is severely limited. This coupled with years of drought and environmental degradation has further deteriorated their access to pasture land forcing them to sedentarize and find other sources of income.
This blog is a first step in trying to present a more personal and intimate perspective on contemporary social and development issues through photography and writing.
My photography skills were developed through self-study, courses and workshops but above all by going out there and practicing observation and experimenting with different shutter speeds, aperture and viewpoints.
- November 2011
- September 2011
Group photo exhibition ‘Everyday life in Egypt’ (‘Leven van alledag’). The exhibition was organized by Saxion University Deventer and myself at Saxion University Deventer, Netherlands.
- November 2010
‘Urban Expo’ group exhibition at the Technical University Eindhoven main building on urban photography organised by ‘Dekate Mousa’ photo society of the Technical University Eindhoven, Netherlands
- July 2010
‘Panorama’ a solo exhibition of 28 photos at el Balad gallery for contemporary and visual arts, down town, el Tahrir, Cairo, Egypt
Publications and features
- National Geographic
One of my pictures was selected by National Geographic editors for publication in National Geographic’s Daily Dozen on August 20th 2013.
- New Agriculturist
- New Agriculturist
‘Egypt photo exhibit looks at farmer and farmed’ a feature on my photo exhibition in Cairo by bikyamasr an Egyptian and regional independent news site.
- National Geographic
My entry ‘airbag’ was selected by National Geographic editor Susan Welch for publication in National Geographic’s Daily Dozen in December week 4 2009.
- Thomas Cook
My photos ‘Floating on air’ and ‘Sognedal fjord’ are being used by Thomas Cook to promote travel to Norway. My photos are displayed on their website.
- Other features
My photos have been used for lesson materials and as cover photos and illustrations for several journals, magazines, books and other publications including for United Nations Organizations.
- Blurb Company
My photo book ‘People and livestock’ was chosen as ‘Staff pick’ by the Blurb Company in 2009. Out of hundreds of entries the Blurb Company nominates a few as ‘staff pick’ on a weekly bases. Books are selected on the basis of exceptional photography, design, uniqueness of subject matter, and quality among others.
ON A MORE PERSONAL NOTE:
This is me doing what I like best:
1) Talking to people and hugging animals (or vice versa depending on my mood)
2) Taking photos
3) Sports, particularly swimming, running and cycling.
In addition to photo essays on social and development issues I’ll be posting all sorts of other things on my blog; short stories about daily life in Cairo or whichever country I find myself in, my thoughts about themes that interest me and personal stories. Feel free to leave me a message if you have any comments or questions. I hope you enjoy my blog.
p.s. all the photos posted on my blog are owned by me (unless otherwise stated) and they should not be used without my permission