Samira Mahfuz is a young South Asian photographer from Canada by way of Bangladesh. Her work comes from the grittier, darker places in her mind and environment and she mainly utilizes black and white photography. She used to focus her photography on architecture but of late South Asian aesthetics and tradition have been proliferating through her work. This is what she had to say about her current project:

“These pictures are a continuation of my love for subtlety, ambiguity, and mystery. I’m drawn towards neutral faces and the idea of effortless. Then I play around with details (i.e. jewellery, symbols, lines, etc.) that I think add depth. Less is more.


For everything I do, I never start off with a plan. I prefer being, changing, and evolving simultaneously with the things I create. Maybe it’s subconsciously because I’m scared that if I expect too much, I will be disappointed with the end results. It’s much better when I end up surprising myself. I tend to use the resources available around me (rather than studio set up, for example) and play around/go beyond with the things I already know how to do.


I used to take more pictures of architecture or any lines that pleased my sight. However, this project made me realize how much I love taking pictures of people, more specifically, my friends (I grew up with the girl in these pictures). I manage to add lines in the portraits or edited photos.


The manipulated pictures are created in similar ways. I have experimented with editing photos for a very long time. The ideas come to me in the process of cutting and pasting. I love when my edited photos turn out to look like semi-sketches or paintings. I have also been writing poetry for a few years now. I’m trying to find ways to incorporate it into my pictures. I’m an extremely eclectic person and I love the idea of blending all my tastes in some way.


These pictures show what my personal culture is — the picking-and-choosing from my parent’s traditions and from the western traditions I grew up within.”