Dec 1, 2017
Najib Joe Hakim is a documentary photographer using his camera to chronicle the culture, lives and personal stories of fellow Palestinian-Americans, living in the United States.
His first project, "Born Among Mirrors" began as a documentary project of Lebanon, during conflicts in 2006. Immediately, he found the project began to evolve, as the lens turned toward his own life, his family and his heritage. Through imagery, family interviews, found footage, passports, refugee ID cards and even a letter from Governor Rockefeller, welcoming his family to New York upon their arrival, "Born Among Mirrors" takes on cultural exploration, from a deeply personal perspective.
First showcased at the Rayko Center in San Francisco, the exhibit moved on to Washington DC through the Jerusalem Fund, back again to the Bay Area to be showcased at the Library of San Francisco Main Gallery.
That's the wonderful thing about projects, they take on a life of their own... and they tell you where to go after a while. It's like kids... You start out being the boss and then they end up being the boss.
- Joe, speaking on the natural evolution of a project.
His second Project "Home Away From Home: The Little Palestine by the Bay" is a photo narrative of the Bay Area Palestinian-American community, the second largest cultural epicenter of Palestinian-American society in the nation. In this project, Najib has dedicated years to collecting and sequencing micro-interviews and portraiture of fellow Palestinians from various geographic backgrounds, ages and genders. All in an effort to share a collective story of success, hardship and growth.
I would like to go back and shoot it from an insiders point of view.... somebody that maybe knows something about the culture and has awareness of Orientalism.
- Joe speaks to his reasoning for wanting to photography 20th Century Middle East
More than just an look back on who Najib Joe Hakim is as an artist, this interview shares a personal journey.