In her work, Eman Ali interlaces religious, socio political and consumerist ideologies under the umbrella of sexuality and the performance of gender in Muslim societies. Working primarily in photography, the artist has recently been exploring the areas of convergence between the African and the Arab worlds, and investigating the Swahili East African cultures, particularly by focusing on representations of femininity in the Lamu Archipelago. The series of photographs, informed by ancient Swahili poetry, address erotic etiquette whilst questioning how minority cultures survive in the contemporary world.
Ali received her BA at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design in 2008, followed by an MA in Fine Art Photography from the Royal College of Arts in 2017. Eman Ali’s first Art book, Succession, 2019 was commissioned by Ffotogallery and is currently part of the exhibition The Place I Call Home, a touring show organised by the British Council UK + GCC. In 2019 she presented a series of photographs, Piki-Piki Paradise, at Lagos Biennial 2nd Edition, Nigeria, and executed her second solo show, Utendi at 50 Golborne Gallery, London, UK. Previous group exhibitions include Gulf Photo Plus, Dubai; Bahrain National Museum; Tate Modern (Offprint); and The Noorderlitcht Photogallery, Groningen, The Netherlands.