“Beauty is subjective and I think every place has its charms. It’s also a matter of how you look at things and what your mindset is in that moment.”
With Faces of AB we simply wander into the life of a AB-goer. Together we muse about Brussels, this strange period in time, and AB. For this edition, we went out and about with Rami Hara.
“My name is Rami Hara, I’m 26-years-old, a Brussels-based photographer, and my roots lie in Somalia. I prefer photos that contain a story. People are visual beings, that’s why I always ensure that the images are aesthetically appealing so that I can grab the attention to highlight important stories. Basically my work is a mix of editorial and documentary photography. For Black History Month at AB, I took photos during the concerts and made portraits of all the artists and speakers.”
Concert photography has always interested me. That’s why I mailed the AB myself and in the spring of 2020 I was chosen as one of the external photographers to work with the In-house Photographer. I also really wanted to follow Michelle Geerardyn to learn from her (and maybe a bit because the AB backstage is a maze too).
Once I almost had a problem with security at the Schoolboy Q concert, because I didn’t know my way around backstage very well yet. I was looking for the guy who had put my things in a locker when I arrived, because I already wanted to edit the photos on my laptop. One of the other security guys thought I was some sort of groupie in search of Schoolboy Q himself, but the misunderstanding was quickly cleared up.
All concert photography ceased in March, of course. Fortunately, a year later, I was called upon for Black History Month at the AB. To be honest, I hadn’t expected to also be featured as an artist, it was a very nice experience! I also received complete freedom with the images and really enjoyed working on them.
I wanted to experiment with editing the photos, so that each concert album was unique. So I was inspired by the artists’ performances. For example, ESINAM’s set was very eclectic & multi-instrumental, and then Sunday Rose was more soft & elegant. Those are the vibes that I wanted to communicate in my photos.
What I particularly miss since the presence of corona is simply wandering around in the city and going to sit in small cafes to work or going to flea markets to find old camera lenses. And I very much miss travelling, photography is my medium for memories. I can look at a photo from a journey taken years ago and feel the emotions that were present at the time.
Even though I’ve lived in Brussels for a while and feel at home here, I still don’t consider myself to be a Brusselian, mostly because my French isn’t that great yet. I don’t know they entire city so well yet either, I’m taking my time to quietly discover everything. I head out on trips with my analogue camera to discover the beautiful and not so beautiful sides of Brussels. Beauty is subjective and I think every place has its charms. It’s also a matter of how you look at things and what your mindset is in that moment. On a bad day, everything looks uglier but with a little positivity you can make out the beauty in things.
Interview by Lara Decrae
Pictures: Lien Peters