Hymen pills, crystal bottles of menstrual blood, young women in wooden frames engraved with ancient Swahili poetry; these are just some of the scenes that come forth in Eman Ali’s portfolio of photographic dreamscapes.
Eman Ali’s latest body of work, The Earth Would Die If The Sun Stopped Kissing Her, is currently on display at the 25th edition of Paris Photo. Taking its name from The Sun Never Says, a poem by 12th-century Persian poet Hafez, it is the product of a month-long ‘Kerouacian’ journey in Oman in the spring of 2022. “As a people, we are very connected to the land. This project is definitely more personal, and much more instinctual,” she explains. “It was just me going on road trips and exploring different areas of the country. I took this opportunity to play, to discover and connect with people. It was a return to the explorative nature of photography.”
Harnessing the beauty of the mundane, the images ask us to consider the ignored intricacies of our everyday lives. Eman describes this as an experimentation with “light [and] the poetry of colour to suggest a certain kind of mood and feeling in my imagery.” In this project, Eman’s propensity for meticulous portraiture shines through, a distinct part of her practice in which she places the everyday in an otherworldly context with stunning ease.
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