Eman Ali

Eman Ali
Using a mix of photography, text, light, sound and installation, Eman Ali’s practice interlaces gender, religious and socio-political ideologies with a focus on the Middle East.


For her project Succession, Ali uses the archive as a point of reference to explore Oman’s modern history, collective memory and the notion of national identity.

Eman Ali is an Omani visual artist who graduated with an MA in Fine Art Photography from the Royal College of Art (2017) and with a BA in Graphic Design from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design (2008) in London. She was invited to participate in the 2018 edition of Pla(t)form at the Fotomuseum in Winterthur, Switzerland and was shortlisted for the European Photography Award (2016) and nominated for the Foam Paul Huf Award (2013).



Succession is a photo book about Oman that addresses my anxiety about an uncertain political future. Working with archival material that primarily focuses on the first decade of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos’s rule, I look to the past, to rethink the meaning of identity, history, memory, and loss.

The photographs are sourced from Oman, a quarterly newsletter issued by the embassy of the Sultanate of Oman in the UK from 1973 into the 1980s. The purpose of this publication was to keep those within the diplomatic circle informed about the new developments in the Sultanate following the accession of the “Renaissance Man” to the throne on July 23,1970.

These newsletters were collected by my father during his post as the First Secretary in the Oman Embassy and they served as a starting point for me to explore the formation of what is known as the modern Oman.

The book features a selection of photographs captured using iPhone and then reworked to create a series of carefully cropped images arranged into a dream-like sequence. By appropriating these images and juxtaposing them against one another, I invite the viewer to re-examine relationships, memories and the collective identity. At a time of great change in the Middle East, this is an invitation to question things we once felt so sure about.