photojournalist, economist and oral historian
Mark Abouzeid is an award winning freelance visual journalist & storyteller based in Florence, Italy. Over his career that spans more than 15 years of adventure, expedition and cultural anthropology projects, Abouzeid has specialized in projects relating to oral traditions, living culture and intangible heritage of peoples around the world including Jordanian Bedouin, Omani Dhow Artisans, Ghanese Kente Weavers, Nigerian Baobab Carvers, Moroccan Berbers, Senagalese tribesmen, Tunisian Octopus Fisherman and many others.
Abouzeid has recently returned from work around the Mediterranean capturing the oral histories of the sea faring cultures as part of the OralMed Project. Through first person video interviews, photo reportage and visual storytelling; the project seeks to document visually and orally traditional fishing practices and cultures as well as the current state of the Mediterranean marine communities.
The Museums of Valencia and Barcelona will present multiple media exhibits, including objects and materials, from the work and all archives will be permanently housed in the EU Maritime Museum in Marseille.
His years of experience in the field, often under extreme conditions, allows him to build compelling features and documentaries based upon his creative, sensual and bold imagery. Abouzeid is, currently, the Director of ‘The Plein Air Apprentice’, an upcoming travel and culture webtv series. Filming for the series took place in Beirut and Palestine from December 2013 to January 2014.
Gifted with a natural curiosity into the human condition and the diversity of our cultures, Abouzeid lives in the communities he captures…he works with them…cooks with them…and plays with them.
“After a while, I become invisible to my subjects. The camera disappears, even when it is right in front of their faces, and they go on about their lives as they would normally. This is the only way to capture the true nature of oral societies and traditional cultures, as they unfold naturally. Anything else, would be a staged performance without true context.” Mark Abouzeid, 2013
Abouzeid’s fine art collections have been or are currently exhibited in numerous museums including Palazzo Vecchio, Accademia della Crusca, Museu de Valencia d’Etnologia, Pitti Uomo, Bedouin Heritage Foundation and Museu Maritima, Barcelona. His works have been purchased by galleries and private collectors in the US, Europe and Asia.