Malika Sqalli at whitespec

In “Latitude 34,” Austrian-Moroccan photographer Malika Sqalli illuminates the cultural life of cities with a shared characteristic: their position on the thirty-fourth latitude.

During a stay in Los Angeles while she was contemplating her next project, Sqalli was surprised to find that Los Angeles falls upon the same latitudinal line (34.02) as her hometown of Rabat, Morocco. Starting in Los Angeles before traveling back east across the United States through Atlanta and back to Morocco, her exploration expanded into something much larger and more substantial.

Using the parallel as a metaphor for the human tendency to organize, relate and connect, the scenes and landscapes Sqalli captured demonstrate the commonalities (and distinctions) between the cultures along this latitude. After traveling across the United States, Sqalli is now continuing her journey along latitude 34 through New Zealand, Australia, Japan and China.

Sqalli’s Austrian-Moroccan heritage heavily informs her work – not only her photographic process but also her pieces’ meaning and symbolism. Yet Latitude 34 compels us to meditate upon global concerns, like our awareness of place and identity and what we consider different and mysterious.

Having temporarily abandoned her home in favor of a nomadic lifestyle, Sqalli also puts into question our preconceived definition of home: is it a physical place, or can it reside in the emotions, in the mind, or in geography and ancestry? In addition to Sqalli’s extensive photographic documentation, Latitude 34 will also include a multimedia assemblage illustrating prospective new directions in her work.

Malika Sqalli is an Austrian-Moroccan emerging photographer from Rabat, Morocco who now lives in London, England. She has exhibited her work in Rabat, Los Angeles and London. She has won wide recognition for her work, including the titles of Honorable Mention at the 2009 Prix de la Photographie in Paris and Nominee at the 5th Annual Photography Masters Cup. Latitude 34 is her first show at whitespace and in Atlanta.

Through Nov. 24.

whitespec at whitespace gallery
814 Edgewood Ave.
Atlanta, Ga.

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