Afra Bin Dhaher is an Emirati communications designer and visual artist. She graduated in 2012 from the American University of Sharjah, where she received a bachelor’s degree in visual communication. Bin Dhaher works in a wide range of mediums that include photography and digital collage. Her work has been shown in China, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States. She is a member of Tashkeel and has earned several awards for her photographs, including the Ibda’a Media Student Award, Sheikha Manal Young Artist Award for digital photography, and the Hamdan International Photography Award. Bin Dhaher lives and works in Dubai.
Afra Bin Dhaher’s creative practice involves informing viewers, translating experiences, and portraying emotions. She seeks to generate discourse by exploring gender identity in Emirati society. For her Self-Portrait series, Bin Dhaher, surrounded by various household belongings, contorts her body into carefully composed positions, which reference classical Middle Eastern artistic conventions. According to the artist, these constructed domestic scenes depict intimate memories, as she rediscovers everyday objects and reminisces about her past in the United Arab Emirates. In Prayer Rugs, Bin Dhaher poses against a background of prayer rugs, while she grasps one in her hands. This work expresses her connection to religion and how she carries its values with her wherever she goes.
© 2014 Meridian International Center