Amaal Said is a Danish-born Somali photographer and poet, based in London. Her photographs have been featured in Vogue, The Guardian and The New Yorker. She is concerned with storytelling and how best she can connect with people to document their stories. Her first experience of a writing group was joining the Barbican Young Poets, under the tutelage of Jacob Sam-La Rose. She did the programme for two years (2014 and 2015). This was a space to come together, write, and to have your work read and critiqued. She is a member of Octavia Poetry Collective for Womxn of Colour. Founder and leader, Rachel Long, started the collective so that each participant didn’t have to be the only person of colour in the room, singled out for their experiences.
She won the Wasafiri New Writing prize for poetry in 2015. In 2017, her work was exhibited in Los Angeles, California. In 2018, her photography was featured in the fourth volume of African Lens and was exhibited in Accra, Ghana. An opportunity from WritersMosaic to submit an essay about the power of images was crucial in how she thinks of herself as both a photographer and writer. Her main job has been that of a portrait photographer, working with individuals and businesses to tell their stories through images. Writing the essay gave Amaal an opportunity to link her image-making practice with the writing one.
Working on her first solo photography show at Luton Departure Lounge Gallery, Amaal was able to access mentoring from writers and artists Eileen Daly and Jeremy Akerman, known together as Akerman Daly. She has been working with them over the past couple of months to get back to writing poetry and is currently working on a pamphlet that marks this work.