Arts & Culture

How Sahr Azeemi portrays the different stages of grief

The photo series documents the different stages of grief people go through, but often deal with privately.


By Sekka Team

Sahr Azeemi’s black and white narrative portraits depict her experience of grieving the sudden loss of a loved one. Image: Sahr Azeemi and Mohammed Abdallah.

On October 5th of 2020, her father’s birthday, Bahraini actress, writer and content creator Sahr Azeemi headed to the abandoned Alasfoor Plaza in Diraz, Bahrain. With the help of Bahraini photographer, Mohammed Abdallah, Sahr worked on a series of photos, or letters as she likes to describe them, to her deceased father.

Her black and white narrative portraits depict her experience of grieving the sudden loss of a loved one. The photographs represent the different stages of grief that she experienced, from denial and anger to regret to devastation to numbness, many of which people deal with privately and quietly.

 “Openly sitting with one’s grief is often read as a sign of weakness. Grieving is so often perceived in our society as a momentary weakness that one is to eventually, hopefully quickly, ‘get over’ so that they may return to society and its mundane exchanges,” explains Sahr.

The location of the shoot was chosen to precisely reflect the wave of emotions that the actress experiences. The large windows embody a state of denial, a waiting, an incessant hope for an exchange with her father that interlaces her grief, she explains. “The long hallway resembles the solitude of grieving. The staircase echoes a movement between and through an unexpected multitude of fluctuating emotions. Some days bring all emotions with them, while others bring one at a time,” she adds.

Sahr hopes that her series can convey one message, which is that, “Grieving is not a sign of weakness but a necessary process that we shouldn’t be expected to deal with privately and quietly.”

To view more of Sahr Azeemi’s work, visit her page on Instagram.

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