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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Leila Alaoui: Rite of Passage


Somerset House / London / Art

Born in Paris, raised in Marrakech, the late French-Moroccan photographer Leila Alaoui lived at the confluence of East and West, uniquely positioned to understand the plight of Middle Eastern migrants fleeing to Europe. This is what Alaoui captured so movingly in her first series of photographs, “No Pasara” (Entry Denied), taken when she was just 26. And it’s what she continued to chronicle until her tragic death, at 33, in a 2016 terrorist attack. Alaoui’s surviving photographs of migrants and refugees old and young, collected in her first U.K. retrospective, deliver searing images—a vision that does justice to her short life and the important cause that drove her. —J.V.

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