Ridwan Adhami is an accomplished photographer, filmmaker, creative director, and public speaker. Traveling allover the world, Adhami has been a voice for the voiceless, capturing stories that inspire humans to confront their perceptions while advocating for social justice and equality through his art.
Adhami was born and raised in Queens, NY and has been a professional photographer for over 15 years. His journey with his camera began in college at NYIT, where he would shoot underground hip hop shows and surround himself with others who shared a passion for art. It was then that he discovered his love for storytelling and has never turned back. After years of working as an artist, he founded his visual media company, RidzDesign. He published his first book, 366 - Photo A Day, in 2012.
Known for his striking, conceptual imagery, his visual language is the product of a layered identity, combining underground NYC hip hop, Syrian heritage, American upbringing, and Muslim faith. He strives to blend faith and art in way that is impactful while staying true to his roots.
His distinctive style, which combines all-American appeal with raw, gripping, urban imagery, has catapulted him to work with internationally renowned artists and brands. His photo-films include Hamdulillah for the Iraqi-Canadian artist Narcicyst and multiple projects with European pop group Outlandish. Most recently, he is recognized for his collaboration with famous street artist Shepard Fairey on his ‘We the People’ poster series.
He is currently based in Virginia with his wife Susy and daughter Anisa, where he serves as the Creative Director for Islamic Relief USA, an international humanitarian non-profit organization. For eight years, he has traveled to 22 countries, collecting stories of the forgotten – photographs and videos that he shares with the world under the name Scars and Smiles.
Creating Art with Purpose and Patience | Ridwan Adhami | TEDxTysons | June 2017
A powerful image of Muslim American identity and strength created almost 10 years ago returns to relevance to an even wider audience. Photographer Ridwan Adhami recounts the linked inspiration and journey of both his career and this image.
This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx
Ridwan Adhami 2019