Yousef Khanfar, on the side of humanity


Entertaining the Hours of Your Week: Giving Voice to Subjects & Artists



A picture may be worth a thousand words, but as Ansel Adams once stated, “When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” Fortunately, this week’s OneSix8 highlights two art events worth talking (and of course, writing) about.


A new project and related opening exhibit of photographic portraiture from Kuwaiti- born photographer, writer, and humanitarian Yusef Khanfar has already been the topic of much discussion in Oklahoma.  For nearly 4 years Khanfar turned his camera on women serving time in Oklahoma for so-called ‘nonviolent’ crimes. The result is Invisible Eve, a collection of starkly intimate black-and-white portraits of these women, each accompanied by personal messages and even words of advice to anyone considering risking their own freedoms through poor choices.


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OKC museum debuts ‘Invisible Eve;’ incarcerated women featured

By Glenda Rice Collins - Bartlesville Examiner - Enterprise


OKLAHOMA CITY — Venturing behind prison walls to capture compassionate glimpses of caged, yet enduring, humanity, international photographer/humanitarian Yousef Khanfar has produced “Invisible Eve,” a profoundly engaging exhibition of black-and-white images of often-forgotten incarcerated women.


Currently featured in the Tulsa World Gallery of the Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum, the exhibition continues through Sept. 7, featuring portraits of women convicted of non-violent crimes. The exhibit was made possible by the Dr. Raniyah Ramadan Foundation.


Seeking neither to condemn nor to commiserate with his exhibition “models,” Khanfar looks instead to avenues of cooperative empowerment as he designs bridges to understanding, rather than giving power to blind judgment. Evocative portraits and messages are the result as he repeatedly captures the emotional depth, inner beauty and spirit of his subjects.


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Invisible Eve: Oklahoma’s incarcerated women


OKLAHOMA CITY — World-renowned photographer, Yousef Khanfar just finished a photo book titled Invisible Eve showcasing photos of incarcerated Oklahoma women.

Khanfar’s work will be on exhibit at the Gaylord-Pickens Museum

Khanfar has lived most of his life in Oklahoma.

The opening reception is May 30th.

Khanfar talks with NewsChannel 4’s Ali Meyer about his passion for Oklahoma’s incarcerated women.

Oklahoma ranks #1 in the U.S. for female incarceration.

Khanfar dedicated to spreading awareness about the issue.


To watch video CLICK HERE

Yousef Khanfar’s Amazing, Artistic Universe

By David Althouse


Yousef Khanfar’s book, “Invisible Eve,” due this spring from Rizzoli Publishing,

is the latest in a line of works from the internationally renowned and

award-winning photographer whose works grace galleries, cultural centers,

museums and libraries worldwide. It was our pleasure to meet with Khanfar

recently to discuss his life, his artistic approaches, and his awe-inspiring

body of work – past, present and future.


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Photography: Taking Pictures, Telling Stories


The essence of photography is writing with light. It is the visual language that we use daily and increasingly communicate with. Millions of photographs appear everyday in newspapers, magazines, books, catalogs, passports, movies, billboards, and the Internet. Whereas photography initially set out to capture and to collect, today it seeks to discover and to publish.


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“Invisible Eve” exhibit goes behind bars in Oklahoma to reveal women all but forgotten

By Darla Shelden - City Sentinel


The state of Oklahoma incarcerates more women per capita than any other state in the nation. The majority of them are imprisoned for non-violent or drug-related offenses.


In the book, Invisible Eve, award-winning photographer and writer Yousef Khanfar goes behind prison walls to capture the essence of women who he believes are “cast away and forgotten.”


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Yousef Khanfar’s Book ‘Invisible Eve’ Obscures the Issue of Women’s Incarceration, Slightly


With the express intent to shine a light on the lives of women imprisoned in Oklahoma for non-violent crimes, Yousef Khanfar‘s project and book Invisible Eve should be an excellent contribution to the visual resources we can use to inform ourselves about mass incarceration. It is, but it doesn’t go far enough.


Invisible Eve has a couple of inherent problems that I think are worth pointing out. The first, to be fair, might just be a snag of language and a misinterpretation on my part, however, when I read that Khanfar asked the women to write statements of advice to younger generations so that “the fault of one being might be the salvation of another” it raised alarm bells. In the phrasing, there is a presumption of guilt that falls solely on the individual. Nothing is as simple as that and, for me, the way we warehouse non-violent offenders is as criminal as the act for which the individual is condemned and controlled.


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Oklahoma Incarcerates More Women Than Any Country on Earth


hotographer Yousef Khanfar traveled to prisons throughout Oklahoma, which has the highest incarceration rate for women per capita in the world, photographing female prisoners—some alone, some with their visiting children. After the photo shoot, Khanfar asked each woman to write a few words of advice for younger generations, and documented their lives in the new book Invisible Eve (Rizzoli).


Read full article CLICK HERE