Arts & Culture

In photos: Bahrain in the shadows

Bahrain may be challenging when it comes to street photography, but Mustafa Bastaki’s work proves otherwise.

By Sekka Editorial

Photo by Mustafa Bastaki.

Bahrain has a growing street photography scene that is driven by young and ambitious photographers, who use their Instagram platforms to share their country’s street life with users from around the world.

Some argue that because of the kingdom’s small size, documenting everyday street life can present a bit of a challenge to some photographers in the kingdom.

31-year-old Mustafa Bastaki, who is a Bahraini Fujifilm ambassador, states that “there aren’t really many hidden gems in Bahrain that street photographers haven’t been to already, but I do enjoy going to places that many photographers don’t focus on much, like Al Hamala, Al Jasra and Al Zallaq.”

His work also proves that with a distinct style, you can transform routine movements and tasks within limited locations to artistic portraits, and thus have an infinite number of stories to share.

Photos by Mustafa Bastaki. Click on each to see it in a bigger size.

“I was once chasing a man in the streets as the sun was setting. The man’s shadow was all I could see. I wanted to ‘frame’ him,” he explains when he shares the inspiration behind his photography style. “In a way, that’s what makes him stand out. Shadows add mystery to my photos.”

Mustafa’s distinct and mysterious photography style, for which shadows of people, buildings and objects are the dominant subjects of his photos, provides viewers with a different perspective of Bahrain’s everyday life, adding depth to what could otherwise be perceived as mundane.

When he’s not documenting Bahrain’s street life, Mustafa is commissioned by families for portraits, and by businesses to photograph retail products.

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Sekka Editorial