Souhayl A


Souhayl A is a Moroccan artist-photographer living in Paris whose work has been exhibited in several countries around the world. Mentioned by several specialised magazines among the 10 most influential living street photographers in the world. He use to regularly deliver workshops in Paris France, teaching the art of street photography.

Souhayl is the Founder of the Black and White Photo Awards and the Paris Street Photography Awards, a world-famous photo contest that promotes every year new emerging talents in the discipline of Street Photography. He is also a co-founder in the US of the festival « Selma Photo Nights » and the Art Director of Les Nuits Photo de Pierrevert, one of the most important Photo Festivals in France.

Souhayl collaborates often with magazines dedicated to photography by shooting covers and publishing articles and he regularly appears on prestigious jury lists of many photographic events.

From the project “Gangsta Dating Story” an immersion in univers of “Gangsta way of life” culture
After starting out as a street photographer capturing absurd and sensitive situations with an iPhone, he quickly pushed his street photography projects deeper often adopting a post-documentary point of view or breaking the codes of the classic reportage narration. During the past ten years, he documented extensively the streets of Paris, focusing especially on the working-class neighbourhoods north of the capital.

By its recognisable style via its geometric framing, the aesthetics of its composition which is marked by a certain “poetic realism”, his empathy towards the people he photographs, he is about to succeed in the challenge of resurrecting the French humanist current of street photography that for a time had been relegated to the books History, with the loss of the last two great representatives of this movement Henri Cartier Bresson (2004) and Willy Ronis (2009).
Today Souhayl pursues personal projects in street photography, but says he is not limited only to this discipline that he continues to use as a gateway to other types of projects that he calls “photographic essays” or “docu-fictions”.

Often around themes that are his favourites such as the relations between different genders inside closed groups such as the phenomenon of Gangs in large metropolitan cities or the culturally alienating aspects generated by globalised liberal consumer societies:
From the project “Bloody friday” about terrorist attacks happened in Paris in 2015

“There are many stated rules in street photography that everyone tries to follow to the letter since the beginning and until now. But the problem I have today as a photographer who has experienced almost everything in street photography is that these rules, it is not me who wrote them !.. For me, apart from photojournalism which should continue to document the accuracy of reality, for other non-committed disciplines including street photography, it is necessary to stop directing and limiting photographic projects with always big text, mediation of experts and other ideological artefacts and privileged more the raw context and pictorial narrations. In an era of postmodernity, the direction of the photographic message should now belong to the viewer of the photograph and not only to the photographer.

The elite of street photography should stop preaching Puritanism, the only way to set free the field of possibilities, and leave a large part to the fiction in new projects coming. The photographer should no longer focus all his energy only on shooting but have a much global vision of things.”

2022: Walking Paris with love » at the Presences Montelimar festival
2021: Moroccan Views » at the French Institute of Essaouira
2021: Walking Paris with love » at the Phodar Bulgaria festival
2021: Walking Paris with love » project at GSPF gallery, Gutenberg Sweden
2021: Walking Paris with love » project at Sonia Monti gallery
2020: Gangsta Dating Story » project at the Grand Palais during Art Capital 2020
2019: Gangsta Dating Story » at the P/CAS International Art Fair
2019: Gangsta Dating Story » at the Young International Art Fair – YIA
2018: Walking Paris With Love » in Iran Art For Peace Festival
2018: MAD MAN » in M.A.D Gallery Milano