In December 2017, we brought you The Arab Street, a group exhibition of street photography traversing the Arab world, from the maghrib to the Levant. At the time, we curated the exhibition from established photographers whose work we knew pushed the boundaries of street photography in our region. This year, when we brought back the same theme in the form of an open call, we were astounded and humbled by the quality and quantity of submissions from photographers across the region, many of whom were previously unbeknownst to us.
The “street” of street photography has become a misnomer, and the trope of the “decisive moment” can be interpreted in myriad ways, as demonstrated by the work in this exhibition. Street photography is possible wherever life unfolds, which is why much of this exhibition takes place not in the street, but on the coast, say with a game of dominoes on the Gulf of Aden or a cigarette passing from hand to hand amidst fishing nets in the gilded sunlight of the Mediterranean. Street photography can apply to a historical moment, such as the first papal visit to the Middle East, and to everyday life, such as a morning commute or an unabashed selfie pose. These scenes range from poignant to playful, and everything in between, and employ a variety of techniques that we hope will inspire you in your own photographic practice.
We thank Fujifilm for their generous support of this exhibition, and most importantly, we thank all the photographers who sent us the 700+ submissions that made this process both a challenge and a delight.