Profiling Photographers: Farah Al-Qasimi

"The World is Sinking" is a photography series that explores the aesthetics and hyperglobalisation in the United Arab Emirates. Farah Al-Qasimi explains her project to us:

Positioning myself in carefully built environments that refer to places just beyond reach, I seek to crystallize these expressions of absurdity that rise organically from the landscape, and to create a world where fiction and reality are synonymous. I am interested in reflecting the natural humor, longing and tenderness that emerge from the relationships between objects in a frame. A lack of human presence is important: the photographs should act as a dream-like sequence in which presence is implied but not visible. I hope to represent the strangeness of a world crafted from the urge to escape reality, so desperate it becomes endearingly comedic - a world that pulls you in with familiar iconography and fantastical landscapes – but upon closer examination, reveals tears in the facades.


GPP: Is "The World is Sinking" an on-going series? Is there a possibility that you might expand the series by photographing places other than the UAE?
Farah Al-Qasimi: I continued it a little bit around Arab communities in Queens and Brooklyn, trying to look at the ways that they were preserving a sense of belonging, but it's a very different desire than the one felt in the Emirates. 

GPP: Which camera do you shoot with? Which photography gear do you cherish most?
Farah Al-Qasimi: The project was shot with a Mamiya 7 and on-camera flash, but I'm currently using a Pentax 645Z because I need to shoot faster and more for graduate school. I use minimal lighting these days, mostly just one flash, pocket wizards, and an LED light. I definitely privilege mobility over fancy lighting.

Who's your greatest influence?
Farah Al-Qasimi: I don't have one particular influence. I fell in love with photography looking at work by August Sanders, Diane Arbus, and William Eggleston, but recently, I've been inspired by Deana Lawson and Mickalene Thomas.

Discover more here.  

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