Nazem Jawish has studied photography at Le Pont gallery in Aleppo for the past eight years. His series “Exile” reflects on the daily life of his 250 fellow workers in a textile factory in the city. Because he was working more than 12 hours per day at the factory, Jawish had no choice but to take pictures on his way there and at work for practice.
“At the beginning, my colleagues thought I was weird. They didn’t understand why I wanted to take pictures of them, of us, here at the factory.”
But eventually, they got accustomed to Jawish’s camera. This is how he was able to shoot this series of moving portraits: tired faces, empty and worried looks, all these allegories of the Syrian working class.
“Some of my colleagues came to the exhibit in Le Pont gallery. Even my boss showed up. It was an important step for me,” comments Jawish.
Jawish’s work has not only been displayed in Syria but also at exhibits in Denmark. Lately, his pictures even caught the attention of visiting Magnum agency talent-hunters. He has recently started to use a digital camera.
Jawish is currently working on a project dedicated to the prayer room inside the factory, which is mostly used for break time. His new series will be shown at Le Pont gallery in September for the 11th edition of the International Photography Festival (10-25 September).