Wesaam Al-Badry

Wesaam Al-Badry
Cleveland-Cliffs Dearborn Works plant looms over the playground at Salina elementary school which is predominately Arab-American in the Southend neighborhood of Dearborn, Michigan.
Wesaam Al-Badry
Wesaam Al-Badry is working in Detroit as a Documentary Fellow. Visit fellow's website

Wesaam Al-Badry is a visual journalist and interdisciplinary artist.

He received his MA in New Media Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, and his BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute.

Born in Nasiriyah, Iraq, Al-Badry and his family fled Iraq at the outset of the Gulf War. They lived in refugee camps in Saudi Arabia before relocating to Lincoln, Nebraska in 1994. There, they lived across from a plastics factory and the railroad tracks. As a child, Wesaam suffered from asthma caused by the surrounding pollution.

Through his documentary work, Al-Badry pursues themes surrounding labor, migration, and the environment. He has recorded his family’s experience as refugees in the Midwest, migrant workers in California’s Central and Salinas Valleys, and the impact of fracking on communities in Pennsylvania.

In June 2023, Al Badry was honored as one of the Carnegie Corporation of New York’s 35 Great Americans. He has received The John Collier Jr. Award for Still Photography, Dorothea Lange Fellowship, the Jim Marshall Fellowship for Photography, The National Geographic Society fellowship, and is a Magnum Foundation grantee. His artwork has been exhibited internationally at museums including the de Young Fine Arts Museum in San Francisco, the Museum Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt, Germany, and Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York City.