Photoville

“Waha واحة” (oasis in Arabic) is a four-year photographic research project aimed at understanding the complex relationship between people, their environment, and the history of the territories they inhabit.

Collectively, oases carry a mystical, almost magical aura. Growing up in the south of Morocco, they’ve always been an intriguing, transitional territory I wished to explore and demystify. Beyond myths and orientalist representations, oases define systems, cultures, indigenous knowledge and innovation. They maintain a delicate balance between water, flora, soil, and climate in hostile environments. Oases reflect what happens on a larger scale, reminding us that humans can build and nurture whole ecosystems but destroy them in the blink of an eye.

Exploring and experimenting with new processes and visual narratives, the series extends the metaphor of erosion within the oasis. It calls upon external and organic elements intimately linked to the spaces photographed, both documentary and conceptual, to navigate the realities of present-day and yet-to-come deterioration.

Artist Bios

  • Seif Kousmate

    Seif Kousmate (b. 1988, Essaouira, Morocco), is a self-taught Morocco-based visual storyteller. He developed a visual vocabulary that stands between documentary photography and the poetry of fine art photography. After a career as a Project Manager in the civil engineering sector, he dedicated himself professionally to photography in 2016. Since then, he has been working on different visual projects in Africa around migration, youth, and marginalization. With his latest series, “Waha واحة”, a four-year essay on the oases of North Africa and the changes they are going through, he represents a pivotal moment in his exploration, pushing the conventional limits of storytelling through sensorial narratives, something he envisions to grow further in his next projects.

    Kousmate’s photography has been exhibited widely in various festivals and venues, including Foam Museum in Amsterdam, Les Rencontres d’Arles 2022, Contact photography Festival in Toronto, Jaou Photo in Tunisia, San Jose Foto in Uruguay, Addis Foto Fest in Ethiopia. It has also been published in international magazines and newspapers such as The New York Times, Newsweek, The Guardian, Financial Times, Le Monde, and El País, among others.

    A National Geographic Explorer since 2018, he was selected as a 6×6 Global Talent Program by World Press Photo in 2020 and is a Magnum Foundation and Prince Claus grantee. He was among the Foam Talents of 2022 and lately has received the “Prix de la photographie” from Musee Quai Branly.

    He is currently working on an ongoing exploration of masculinity and patriarchy in North Africa through his personal experience.

    He co-founded KOZ collective in 2020.

Organizations

  • Photoville

    Photoville

    Founded in 2011 in Brooklyn, NY, Photoville was built on the principles of addressing cultural equity and inclusion, which we are always striving for, by ensuring that the artists we exhibit are diverse in gender, class, and race.

    In pursuit of its mission, Photoville produces an annual, city-wide open air photography festival in New York City, a wide range of free educational community initiatives, and a nationwide program of public art exhibitions.

    By activating public spaces, amplifying visual storytellers, and creating unique and highly innovative exhibition and programming environments, we join the cause of nurturing a new lens of representation.

    Through creative partnerships with festivals, city agencies, and other nonprofit organizations, Photoville offers visual storytellers, educators, and students financial support, mentorship, and promotional & production resources, on a range of exhibition opportunities.

    For more information about Photoville visit, www.photoville.com

WAHA واحة

 coming soon

Featuring: Seif Kousmate

Presented by: Photoville
  • Photoville

Locations

ON VIEW AT: Container Banner 29

View Location Details Brooklyn Bridge Park – Emily Warren Roebling Plaza

1 Water St
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Number 1 on the official photoville map Click to download this year's map

This location is part of Brooklyn Bridge Park
Explore other locations and exhibitions nearby

This website was made possible thanks to the generous support and partnership of Photowings