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Online Artist Talk
Wesaam Al-Badry, Essential Farmworkers in the Time of COVID-19
Thursday, June 25, 2:00pm
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We will meet through Zoom conferencing and a URL will be sent to those who register.

Please join artist, photography, and multimedia journalist, Wesaam Al-Badry as he talks about essential farmworkers in the time of COVID-19. He will discuss how a news story develops and becomes a long-term photo essay, plus facing the challenges of gaining access and trust. Wesaam’s work about the California Central Valley farm workers was just featured in Rolling Stone and the Atlantic.

Wesaam Al-Badry was born in 1984 in Nasiriyah, Iraq. When Al-Badry was seven years old, at the outset of what became known as the Gulf War, Al-Badry’s mother fled on foot with her five children, including his six-day-old sister, as artillery shells fell around them. After hiking for three days, sometimes through knee-deep mud, they arrived at a refugee camp in Saudi Arabia.

In late 1994, Al-Badry and his family were relocated to Lincoln, Nebraska after spending four-and-a-half years in a refugee camp. As a young man growing up in middle America, Al-Badry fiercely felt the disconnect between his experiences in Iraq and the refugee camps and his new home.

Bearing witness to the aftermath of the Iraq-Iran war that shaped the contemporary human condition into one of paranoia and distrust and his first-hand experiences living through Desert Storm and in refugee camps has sculpted Al-Badry’s work, which focuses on capturing the dispossessed, and ultimately, human dignity.

Al-Badry has worked for global media outlets, including CNN and Al-Jazeera America. His photographs have been featured in campaigns for the UNHCR, the ACLU, and other global organizations.

While his work focuses on photo reportage and documentary, Al-Badry also creates multimedia art that challenges and investigates social norms and representation, The Iraqi diaspora and textile. He is represented by Jenkins Johnson Gallery in San Francisco, CA. Al-Badry currently resides in Berkeley.

BFA in photography San Francisco Art Institute. 2018
MA in Journalism – New Media UC Berkeley 2020

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