Farah Salem discusses her project Cornered, Societies limitations, and her new book!

Farah is a visual artist from Kuwait. She began as a self-taught photographer at age 15 by exploring how to work with light and shadow to create images. 

Her project, Cornered explores the experience of being in the middle of a beautiful nowhere, yet remaining trapped in a box that has been created by either society or ourselves. It explores the idea of how the whole of existence is truly floating in a beautiful nowhere, an infinite space. But the human mind creates limitations that end up manifesting into fears restricting one to break free and simply be. If one could only realize that outside of the box there is nothing, and its a beautiful nothing to be enjoyed.

4670534_origTell us a little about your self?

I’m a Visual Communications BA graduate and worked in the field of graphic design as a career, as well as visual directing. I do a little bit of commercial photography but mostly I use it for personal work. I’m a visual artist and I use photography as my main tool, as well as blending it with mixed media and performance art.

What inspired you to create the project ‘Cornered’?

For the cornered project, it was developed out of observation of others and personal frustration regarding the experience of either putting ourselves or allowing society to put us in a small box or restrict us from a certain way of experiencing life. We become uncomfortably comfortable because we get stuck in this idea of safety, and are afraid to go outside. The locations are usually places of “nowhere” and each place has a different conversation with the box from a different perspective.

FarahSalem_Cornered7Have you ever felt cornered? If so, tell me about it and how did you break out of those limitations?

Yes, don’t we all? I wouldn’t say I broke out of it 100% but I’am in the process. Step one is being aware of it, and taking actions that get you closer to your goal.

What are the reoccurring themes in your art work and is there a reason for this?

Humanitarian topics, women topics, existential topics. Most importantly sharing raw human emotions of our human experience.


You now have a photography book called In the Between of Skyline and Kuwait City… Tell me more about your book?

Its a photo book with 5 year collection of photographs of Kuwait City. I took these photos while roaming around the streets as if I was a stranger in my own city. Trying to show the different faces, sides, and experiences of the city. We are limited to the idea that Kuwait is just either a collection of highways or closed off malls. In this book I go to the almost pedestrian friendly area and have an on foot experience.

Tell me about the art scene in Kuwait, and what’s it like for emerging Artists?

The art scene in Kuwait is pretty good compared to other places in the GCC. It’s definitely emerging and slowly rising. There are a few setbacks for younger less established artists to be honest.

Lastly how do you connect to your culture and/or Identity?

I don’t really believe my culture creates my identity as a person, I feel that my core identity is simply human being. Exploring how to be of use to the universe.


You can find her here: http://www.farahsalem.com



Sara F is an Artist & independent curator, her main area of focus is supporting emerging artists and making sure people of colour get to showcase their work in a gallery space. She will be featuring some of her favourite Arab Artists with interviews. You can find her at @FrozenVanity

Celebrating Emerging Middle Eastern Creatives