Finally I got to shoot a portrait of Palestinian poet Suheir Hammad, one of my favorite Arab artists. I discovered Suheir’s work while i was in college. My roomate got me hooked to watching a show called Def Poetry. The show which is presented by Mos Def , featured spoken word artists performing their poems.
Also since starting my photography project on Arab hip hop, her name kept on coming up in conversations with many artists who cited her as one of their influences in Arab hip hop. My curiosity grew about Suheir, and two weeks ago while attending the Dubai film festival i ran into her. I was late to a meeting, i was running, sweaty and out of breath and at the entrance of the hotel i see my friend Ann-Marie Jacir, a Palestinan film maker and with her Suhier, who also happens to be acting in Jacir’s film “Salt of this Sea.” Quick introductions were made and later on i got to arrange to shoot the portraits.
One of my most enjoyable shoots.
Suheir Hammad is a Palestinian-American poet. She was born in Amman to refugee parents and immigrated with her family as a child to Brooklyn, New York City when she was five years old. Hammad’s first collection Born Palestinian, Born Black was published in 1996, followed by Drops of This Story. Her latest collection is ZaatarDiva, and her forthcoming work is entitled ‘breaking poems’. An original writer and cast member of the TONY Award winning Def Poetry Jam on Broadway, Hammad is a 2007 Copeland Fellow at Amherst College. Her theatre
project ‘breaking letter(s)’ premiered this April, produced by The New World Theatre.