Yto Barrada

(1971) French


Yto Barrada was born in Paris in 1971 and was educated in Tangier. She later studied history and political science at the Sorbonne and photography at the International Center of Photography.
In her photographs and video works, Barrada takes an oblique and dispassionate approach to presenting the political and social realities of life in Morocco. As a dual citizen of France and Morocco, Barrada is able to travel freely between Europe and Morocco but due to tightened security and EU laws it has become increasingly difficult for most Moroccans to travel or emigrate. Since the early 1990s the Straight of Gibraltar has become one of the main gateways for illegal immigration, and in her series The Straight Project: A Life Full of Holes, Barrada captures the temptations of leaving and the unfulfilled hopes of escaping from Morocco into Europe. A number of subjects have their backs to the camera or their faces obscured, a deliberate choice by the photographer to represent the idea of turning one’s back on one’s home country by those trying to cross the border. Her subsequent project, Iris Tingitana, once again centers on Tangier, and how developers’ monocultural vision for the outskirts of the city threatens to homogenize landscapes and human lives.
Barrada’s works are held in public collections including the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou; the Solomon Guggenheim Museum; and the Tate Modern.
Mary O'Donnell Hulme
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