Through the Viewfinder

Bahrain Confidential explores the mind of award-winning photographer, Ghada Khunji.

What motivates you to get up in the morning?

Morning coffee with my family.

You have traveled a lot of places and took many photographs during your course of work. Which photograph do you most identify yourself with?

A picture of a school girl I took when I was in Jodhpur, India in 2008.  She hovers above me in my studio; and reminds me to be strong and look at life directly in the eyes.

What does photography mean to you? What first drew you to take photos?

Photography has surrounded me since I was a child; I owned my first camera when I was barely 6.  Then I discovered a suitcase filled with my Mother’s old negatives; I can still remember the smell of chemicals on them; I was hooked.

How important is it for photographers/artists to “connect” with their subjects?

Very important because our art is our reflection.  One must become one with their subjects and then the magic happens.

How has technology changed your artistic process?

Very much so.  I started out with analog cameras, film, darkrooms and chemicals to literally expose an image on paper.  Now instead of a darkroom I use photo shop and output digital prints.  What’s important to remember is not the technique or equipment that makes the difference.  It’s the vision of the person making the art that makes it work or not.

Which part of Bahrain is your favourite and why?

Bahrain to me is special on so many ways.  Really, every angle and place in Bahrain has its own nostalgic beautiful quality.  For me, the 2 places that endear me the most are Manama Souq and Muharraq; so much to see and experience with a beautiful mix of ethnicities mingling with each other.  Truly a feast for a photographer’s eye.


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