Multimedia artist Yto Barrada is known for documenting the vicinity around the Strait of Gibraltar, near her hometown of Tangier. Burrada thus turns her attention to the local residents, natural landscape, urban development, and political issues of the area—though she documents both sides of the aquatic divide, her primary focus is on Morocco. Selecting scenes of everyday culture, Barrada constructs images that are simultaneously straightforward and documentary, often colored by subtle conceptual allusions.
While Barrada self-identifies as a photographer firstly, in recent years she has explored the medium of sculpture and developed a special interest in film. Regarding the latter, Barrada established an independent theater in Tangier, Cinémathèque de Tangier, in 2006 as a means by which to engage the local community with history, art, and cinema.
Barrada’s work has been included in exhibitions at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Tate Modern, the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, New York’s Museum of Modern Art, and the Wiels Contemporary Art Center in Brussels, among others. She is the 2011 Deutsche Bank Artist of the Year and a Robert Gardner Peabody Fellow in Photography at Harvard University.