Dragon's Blood Grove
Khamis Benisa'ad Farm Workers
Superb photographer Don Whitebread sent in a series of photographs he took in Yemen last year. When you're done here, head to his website. I am loving his Star Tracks series (one of which just won a Silver Award in the Black and White Magazine Single Image Issue.)
** Update: Exhibition opens at World Affairs Council where Don will be speaking on April 5th, 2012
Shibam Street Game
Khalilla Bokshan Palace Hotel
"In 2010, before the current protests, I was able to photograph throughout the surprisingly diverse and traditional country of Yemen with the help of a friend who lived there. Sana'a, Yemen's capital, is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world.
Despite some serious research, Yemen was unlike anything I imagined. The landscape that I came to photograph was much more visually diverse, and historically richer than I expected. The people and culture of Yemen are firmly but comfortably locked in centuries-old traditions. I found the Yemeni people to be hospitable, confident, and apparently unenvious of the lifestyle much of the rest of the world embraces.
I have chosen to include both color and black and white photography in this series. The natural and urban landscapes of Yemen lent themselves easily to my usual style of black and white work. This was the photography I had in mind when I went to Yemen. The precarious cliff-top towns of the Yemeni highlands are surrounded by hypnotic patterns of terraced farmland. The strangely shaped Dragon's Blood Trees, and the cliffs and dunes of Socotra Island rival anything photographed in the parks of America. After a few days in the cities and villages of Yemen, it was clear to me that the images capturing the lives of the Yemeni people had to be in color. We are familiar with the vintage appearance that attempts to enhance much photography of the Middle East, but the lifestyle of Yemen needs no enhancement."
Images from the series have been exhibited and published, and two are currently nominated for an international Photography Masters Cup award. Don is now working on a book with writing by his friend who lived in Sana'a, before he was arrested and deported during the height of the protests.
Serious Dominos in Shibam
Bajil Qat Market
Boys Playing After Sunset on Ar Har Beach
All images © Don Whitebread