It’s Nice That | Mustafah Abdulaziz’s 15-year photography project depicts the global water crisis

15 years and 32 countries: Mustafah Abdulaziz’s Water project presents an outstanding full-time commitment to documenting our relationship with water. The initial idea to embark on such a journey began in 2011 and has since developed into a monumental ongoing photography series that couldn’t be more necessary worldwide. Ideas surrounding water and our intimate affair we have with the natural resource are often underrepresented; water connects everything, it’s the source of life and the stem of all routes. Our planet is in jeopardy and Mustafah aims to tell the story of this crisis through powerful imagery. We were lucky enough to talk to him to find out more about this project and the impact it will have on a global level.

Photographer Mustafah Abdulaziz Traveled the World Looking for Water

To mark the UN's World Water Day I caught up with the photographer to talk about how different cultures perceive water, its exploitation, and the challenges to preserve our planet's most vital resource.

In 2011, American photographer Mustafah Abdulaziz got to researching how different cultures perceive water, the exploitation this leads to, and the challenges we face to preserve our planet's most vital resource. A year later, he started traveling around the world to shoot relevant stories. Today, his body of work covers eight countries on four continents, and is supported by Water Aid, Earth Watch, WWF, and the UN.

The Many Lives Along the Yangtze River

There are four hundred and fifty million people living in the watershed of the Yangtze, and nearly as many ways to interface with the river.

In 2012, Mustafah Abdulaziz, a twenty-six-year-old originally from Bedford-Stuyvesant, who was largely self-educated in photography, and who carried a medium-format Japanese film camera called the Mamiya 7, set out to take pictures of water. He figured that this would take at least a decade

Winners of Syngenta Photo Award 2015 Announced | American Photo

The environmental photo award Syngenta just announced the winners of their second photo competition titled “Scarcity-Waste.” Mustafah Abdulaziz won first place in the Professional Competition for his ongoing “Water” series that tracks water issues around the globe. Abdulaziz will take home $15,000 USD plus a $25,000 USD commission for the winning work. Benedikt Partenheimer was named the first place winner of the Open Competition for an image made in Shanghai, China, documenting particle pollution. Partenheimer will take home a $5,000 USD prize.

Water, Pestilence, Power: Q&A with Mustafah Abdulaziz

An American photographer travels the world to document the myriad relationships between humans and water.

The overcrowded slums of Freetown, the capital, became a breeding ground for the outbreak, where having safe water made the difference between life and death. It was there that American photographer Mustafah Abdulaziz took the shots that would plunge him into an intensive exploration of water and its perils

On the Road, Embracing the Distance

When Mustafah Abdulaziz drove across America to ask himself questions, he didn’t find the answers. Here is what he did find.

While his essay, “Memory Loss,” is set to the tune of an American road trip, for him, it is much more than that. The photos explore distance and disconnect. They are both experimental and experiential. “It’s like I had to go on a road trip,” Mr. Abdulaziz said. “I had to go where nothing belonged to me.”

Passport Radio (Index)

“I present these photographs as part of an index of a greater idea, of something I find myself drawn towards not as a photographer but as a person. They are a marker, an index for photographs yet to be realized. In this I find excitement. The threads are here but where do they lead? They are an introduction of sorts and a departure.” Photographs by Mustafah Abdulaziz

March of the Models: New York Fashion Week by Mustafah Abdulaziz

Thank you for your  response to my post yesterday critisizing the way way certain photo agencies seem content to abuse the rights of indvidual photographers. I am sorry that we misunderstood you. Might that have something to do with upholding a logic that many people find is at odds with your self stated remit of ‘defending professional photographers’?