Born in Sana’a, Yemen, in 1969, Boushra Almutawakel is considered the first Yemeni woman photographer. She lived and studied in Yemen, USA and France, obtaining a BSBA in International Business from the American University in Washington, DC., and a diploma in photography from the Portfolio Center in Atlanta, USA. On her return to Yemen in 1994 she worked as an educational adviser but continued developing her photographic work, participating in many group exhibitions.
In 1996 she was a founding member of Al-Halaqa in Sana’a, an artists’ group which eventually established, Bait Al-Halaqa, an artist space for meetings, discourse, studios, workshops and exhibitions and forged links with international artists. She has taught photography to women and children in Yemen and organized photo exhibitions of their work.
In 1998, Boushra became a full-time photographer, and some of her clients have included the United Nations, Unicef, CARE International, Organisation for Family Development, as well as various commercial and individual clients while pursuing her photographic projects.
Boushra was a consultant on cultural affairs at the Yemeni Embassy in Washington (2002-3). From 2005-2006 she worked at the Ministry of Human Rights in Sana’a, focusing on women’s issues, while also pursuing her photography.
In 2012 Boushra gave a TEDx talk in Sana’a as part of the very first TED talks in Yemen. Boushra was named as one of BBC 100 inspiring and influential Women of 2018.
Almutawakel’s work has been exhibited internationally in museums and galleries around the world. Her work is in the permanent collections of the British Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Barjeel Foundation, Institito Figuieredo Frerrass of Brazil, as well as private collections.
She currently works and lives in Dubai with her husband and their 4 daughters.