A lifetime resident of Chicago, Deborah Awwad found her calling as a street and portrait photographer about five years ago through local arts organizations intervening in homelessness. Awwad brings to her lens and framing an eye for capturing and sharing stories and perspectives that aren’t typically witnessed within the art world. She conceptualizes photography as a practice in communicating that these underrepresented ways of living matter. In addition to a lived experience of homelessness, Awwad lives with spinal stenosis, a condition that impacts her mobility but does not deter her from pursuing adventurous and difficult angles and shots. Both experiences inform Awwad’s subject matter and framing, and she is as interested in capturing portraits of those impacted by systemic injustice as she is in framing the bright textures and reflections of Chicago’s built environment. Editing is an important part of Awwad’s process, and she tirelessly experiments with the technologies at her disposal for expressing how people and their environments reflect on one another.
Image: Deborah Awwad, Convex Inversion (2021). Digital photography.