Ali Arkady

Contributing Photographer

Ali Arkady is a photojournalist, artist, and filmmaker from Iraq. In 2017, he fled Iraq with his family after documenting Iraqi armed forces committing war crimes, which led to threats against his life. He sought refuge in Europe, where he was granted asylum and has since built a new life.

His photographs of war crimes in Iraq were published worldwide by international media, putting pressure on the Iraqi government to acknowledge the crimes committed by their soldiers. For this work, he won the prestigious Bayeux Prize for War Correspondents in 2017 and the Free Press Unlimited Most Resilient Journalist Award in 2019 for his exceptional courage and persistence. Additionally, his work was shown as part of the Venice Biennale in 2017, and he received the Prix des Amis des Beaux-Arts de Paris in 2022, with his work entering the Beaux-Arts de Paris collections.

Arkady’s work has focused on armed conflict and the daily life of his fellow citizens during the American occupation and the rise of the Islamic State. For over 18 years, he has portrayed Iraq’s conflicts and their consequences with sensitivity and an unflinching eye. His work in Iraq also includes highlighting the Yazidis’ plight, the Islamic State’s violence, and the ensuing displacement of internal populations. He has also worked in Syria, Turkey, Tunisia, and throughout Europe.

He became a teacher in a UNHCR program for several Yazidi girls fleeing the Islamic State who wanted to train as photojournalists. He continues to mentor several of these students seven years later and also teaches students from the Arab-speaking, Kurdish, and English-speaking world through programs at the VII Academy.

Arkady continues to work on artistic and photographic projects reflecting his experiences and expertise, shedding light on human rights and social justice issues. He also produces documentary and fiction films that contribute to raising awareness about global concerns. Currently, Arkady is developing new works that address displacement, migration, and the challenges faced by refugees, drawing on his artistic skills and field experience to convey these important stories.