Wesaam Al-Badry is an investigative journalist, and interdisciplinary artist working in photography, video installation, sculpture, and painting through interconnected themes of identity, migration, simulated wars, and the archives. His work focuses on the social and environmental issues in the U.S. Middle East and the North African diaspora. His current projects investigate how the image-based process and text are complicit in using racialized ethnographic studies in Iraq.
His early arduous childhood experiences sculpted Al-Badry’s work, which focuses on imagining the human struggle with dignity, and love.
Al-Badry was born in Nasiriyah, Iraq, when he was seven years old, at the outset of what became known as the Gulf War, his family fled to Saudi Arabia and lived in refugee camps for 4 and half years. In late 1994, Al-Badry and his family were relocated to Lincoln, Nebraska.
Al-Badry has worked for global media outlets, including CNN and Al-Jazeera America. His photographs have been featured in the New York Times, Rolling Stone Magazine, The Atlantic, NPR, Fortune, The Nation, and Mother Jones. Al-Badry has received The John Collier Jr. Award for Still Photography, Dorothea Lange Fellowship, the Jim Marshall Fellowship for Photography, The National Geographic Society fellowship, Magnum Foundation, and The Emerson Collective, and is currently a fellow at The Center for Visual Documentation. His artwork has been exhibited internationally at museums including the de Young Fine Arts Museum in San Francisco, the Museum Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt, Germany, Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York City, Bernstein Gallery at Princeton University, Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University, and Jenkins Johnston Gallery in San Francisco.
He currently resides between Berkeley, CA, and Lincoln, NE. Al-Badry received his master’s in New Media journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, and his BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. Al-Badry is represented by the Jenkins Johnson Gallery in San Francisco and New York, East Wing Gallery, and Contact Press Images, NYC.