Fazal Sheikh was born and brought up in New York and graduated from Princeton University in 1987. He started documenting refugee camps in 1992 in northern Kenya and his photographs from this project were first exhibited in 1994, which launched his career.
Sheikh offers most of his projects online free of charge to create a dialogue surrounding substantive human rights issue. He has a belief that a portrait is an act of mutual engagement, and only through a long term commitment to a place and to a community can a meaningful series of photographs be made.
In 2004, Fazal Sheikh visited Vrindavan and collected stories and photographs for his book ‘Moksha’. The book is about widows living in Vrindavan and has a collection of portraits which are very compelling and forces the viewer to think about the existing situation in India. Sheikh has done a tremendous job of sharing the stories of these brave women, to the world.
Fazal Sheikh has composed one of the most powerful bodies work on refugees and the displaced for almost thirty years. His portraits are sensitive and critical and deal with subjects which are considered taboo and about which the people are generally unaware. Sheikh has done a commendable task with the multi-volume set of photographs, The Erasure Trilogy.
Fazal Sheikh is an artist who uses photographs, moving images, and oral testimony to portray untapped potential, strength and individual characters of his subjects. His projects are concerned with complex human rights issues and he has his focus set on the rights of misplaced communities.